A Bittersweet Success Story – Thursday’s Table update 7-21-20
Thursday’s Table volunteers continue each week to provide a good nutritious meal to our guests. We have been serving To-Go meals for 17 weeks. Whether it is because people are in need, desire a good home cooked meal, or just want something to eat that is different than they get from a food pantry, we have seen our numbers rise each month. In April, we served 394 meals on 5 Thursdays for an average of 79 meals per week. In May, we served 363 meals on 4 Thursdays for an average of 91 meals per week. In June, our numbers really shot up as we served 445 meals on 4 Thursdays for an average of 111 meals per week. This month, we have already served 149, 134, and 146 meals on the first three Thursdays of this month. So our average number of meals served will rise again. By comparison last year in 2019, we served an average of 62 meals per week.
What is going on?! The sweet part of this story is that our volunteers have managed to build a really efficient system of making and distributing really good meals. The bitter (sad) side of this tale is that we are in a position where we need to provide meals for more and more people.
Cooking to provide this volume of meals for our guests has stretched us to our limits. Our kitchen is not a commercial kitchen but we are able to produce meals that good and nutritious by being creative. Bobbette Tunnyhill, our Food and Menu Coordinator, and the cooks have found ways to cook different meals that our facilities can accommodate without compromising the quality or diversity of the meals.
In keeping with our church’s goal, we are committed to using biodegradable and recyclable to-go containers and to stay green, as much as possible. Our biggest increase in cost has been the biodegradable clamshells. We are in the process of submitting a number of grant requests to offset this cost. The good news is that we recently received an anonymous donation through the Community Foundation of Dunn County for food through the Feed My People Food Bank and another anonymous donation mailed to us to help with the cost of the biodegradable containers. We have no idea when we will be able to resume congregate dining in the Fellowship Hall, so the need and expense of to-go containers will continue for the foreseeable future. We will keep everyone apprised of this situation.
We would be remiss if we did not raise up and honor our volunteers. Each week our crews come together and work their hearts out to make a meal possible. The old adage of TEAM – Together Everyone Achieves More is on display each week. It is so heartwarming to see.
Finally, we are so grateful to the Church Council, Kathleen, and our congregation for allowing us to continue this church mission. It is truly an embodiment of “Being the Church!”
Until next time!
Thursday’s Table Community Partners
Thank you to all of the individuals and groups and who help make Thursday’s Table possible.
Cedarbrook Church – Menomonie
Community Foundation of Dunn County
Culvers of Menomonie
Dunn County Electrical Cooperative
Feed My People Food Bank – Eau Claire
First Congregational United Church of Christ – Menomonie
First Congregational UCC – Mission Committee
First Congregational UCC – Women’s Fellowship
Individual Volunteers from the Community and Local Churches
Menomonie Lions Club
Menomonie Noon Rotary Club
Salem Iron Creek Methodist Church – Elk Mound
Stepping Stones of Dunn County
Tuesday’s Table of St. Joseph Church – Menomonie
United Methodist Church – Menomonie
UW Stout Volunteers
WalMart Transportation Services – Menomonie
Women of the Moose Chapter 682 – Menomonie
- As of July 2, 2018 —