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  • Writer's pictureDiocese of WNC

St. Francis Serves 1,000+ Meals Thanks to Updates

The kitchen at St. Francis, Rutherfordton, stayed busy the week of Thanksgiving using updated appliances gained from grants and fundraising efforts.

The parish of St. Francis' Community Thanksgiving Meal was held on Wednesday, November 22, 2023. The menu consisted of turkey and gravy, dressing, green beans, sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce, roll, and dessert. The church served a total of 1,045 meals. Senior neighborhoods, hotels, shelters, and group home settings were delivered meals between 10am – 11am. Members of the church community pre-ordered meals in bulk and they picked these up to deliver between 10am – 11am. The church offered sit-down meals to anyone in the community from 11:30am to 1pm in the Parish House. To-go orders were offered via a drive-thru at the dentist's office parking area/driveway.

How food was distributed:

  • 303 - meals were delivered to senior and group homes

  • 128 - meals were picked up by church community members for delivery

  • 360 - meals were delivered to Town and Country Motel, Thrifty Motel, Stagecoach Motel and Tri-City Motel

  • 179 - To-go meals were picked up from 11:30 to 1 pm via drive-thru.

  • 75 - Plates were served sit-down in Parish House.

An additional 35 desserts and 25 rolls were taken to Town and Country Motel after everyone was served. The balance of what was left over will be frozen and used for upcoming events in December. The leftovers were primarily desserts and sweet potato casserole.

At least 52 household units from St. Francis donated food or money for the meal. We also received food contributions from members of St. Gabriel’s, the Rutherfordton Presbyterian Church, the Rutherfordton First United Methodist church, Main Street Coffee, Food Lion, and Ingles.

Around 35 volunteers prepped, served food, and cleaned up Tuesday and Wednesday to include members of other churches and some people who did not belong to a church. We also had seven children (and their adult chaperones) from Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy to help serve the food between 11:30 am and 1 pm.

There is no way to quantify the cost savings by people donating the food, time, and effort toward this ministry. The church is thankful for the additional monetary donations that help to sustain this ministry as it continues to grow in the support of the neighbors, meeting them where they are, whether it be through to go, delivery to their home, hotel, apartment, or them joining for a sit-down meal.

The remodeled kitchen was a tremendous help with the storage of food. From the large refrigerator to the warming rack, it was a huge improvement. Having the additional space available made the flow of food much easier and faster. Keeping the food to temp was also much easier with the additional heating and cooling space.

Putting on the Community Thanksgiving Meal would not be possible without the generous donation of time and treasure by the congregation. The church would like to especially thank the members of our planning committee who put in a lot of thought and effort in the weeks leading up to the meal to make things run smoothly.


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