The second annual Florence Community Suppers program had its inaugural meal on Wednesday, Oct. 4, as a free three-course meal was served to the public at the Presbyterian Church of the Siuslaw.
The weekly suppers, which are open to anyone regardless of belief, finds all types of ages and socioeconomic status coming to share the homemade meals.
“Last year we had crowds of
50 plus with people from all across the spectrum,” Presbyterian
Church Pastor Greg Wood said. “Single families, seniors, people just passing through, church people, non-church people, people with homes and the homeless.
We had all types of people come in.”
The program first began last year when the Florence Area Community Coalition related stories of families running out of food at the end of each month.
“Many of the area churches were already serving dinners on Wednesday nights, which led to the ministries coming together to create the program,” Wood said. “We couldn’t afford to do it every week, so we had each ministry do one night a month.”
Four ministries banded together to start the program, with each church serving meals once every four weeks. The ministries include St. Andrews Episcopal, New Life Lutheran, Presbyterian Church of the Siuslaw and Florence United Methodist Church.
Last year’s program ran September through May, and Wood hopes that this year’s program will run just as long, if not longer.
“We run until the funds or the food runs out,” Wood said.
The program is funded through donations.
The dinner styles run the gamut, from lasagna and pasta to casseroles and chicken dishes. Vegetarian options are also available.
“Last year, the Episcopal church made this beef stew and, oh man, that was good,” Wood said. “Everything is homemade, and I appreciate the heck out of that.”
While the original focus of the program was helping families in need, the scope has expanded to everyone in need.
“Some of that need is loneliness,” Wood said. “This is a community meal that celebrates friends and families.”
The next community supper will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 11, at the New Life Lutheran Church located at 2100 Spruce St. from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Suppers will continue through October, including Oct. 18 at the St. Andrews Episcopal Church (2136 19th St.) and the United Methodist Church (at 2nd and Kingwood streets) on Oct. 25. All are held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Donations towards the cost of the meals will be accepted, but not required.