Our first open meal to the community served a grand total of . . . (drum roll) . . . 8 people! However, all of us were volunteers!
In the Catholic Worker tradition, we try not to distinguish between the "poor" and the "non-poor." We had a meal for the community and the community did show up. However, we would certainly have liked to have included folks who didn't have an option of a meal waiting for them back at home.
We had a bounty of donations and a wonderful bunch of folks who helped. All day long people stopped by to drop things off and help out in one way or another.
This was an impressive show of support and for a trial run we did just fine. We enjoyed a wonderful meal together and it was a fantastic evening of community and fellowship. It was great to spend time with new friends from the parish as well as those who have been part of the Columbus Catholic Worker since the beginning.
We also celebrated Mary Ellen's birthday! Happy Birthday to a Leap Day gal!
I have never heard of a free community meal that has had difficulty attracting people. I continually read about how food pantries are feeling an increase in demand during these tough economic times. I am fully confident that people will be drawn to our meals. It is just a matter of finding better ways to get the word out. Today, it was a feast fit for a king.
This food will be shared with others. Some will be frozen and the perishables will be given out, including to other soup kitchens. We will serve it also for people who come to the legal clinic on Thursday and prayer on Friday.
We decided not to advertise too heavily because we were afraid of a huge turnout. Next time, we'll beat the drums a little louder.
This house is certainly turning into a place where good company and good food come together. Not a bad start for a group who values hospitality as we do.
If anyone has suggestions for good ways to spread the word about our meals, please let us know.