Food for the Soul

Gail Jones and her friends at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church could not look away from what they were seeing in their Carolina Beach community.

They saw people living in sleeping bags on the dunes. In tents at campgrounds. In their cars or second-rate motels. What they did not see was a community response to the needs of people who couldn’t cook healthy meals without access to ovens and stoves.

So they cooked up a plan of their own, and they gave it a name: On the Go.

See On the Go in action » photo gallery

Every Friday for 3 1/2 years, the volunteers converge at 10 a.m. in the kitchen at St. Paul’s. They bring hundreds of plastic containers and fill them with home-cooked stews, soups, casseroles, chili, pastas – and pack in breads, desserts, salads for sides. It’s all laid out on tables in the fellowship hall for pickup and delivery, feeding about 70 people for the weekend.

Janice Sanders, a Methodist Home for Children family preservation specialist, picks up meals for three to five families every week. These are parents who struggle with basic needs, and the meals relieve one significant stress in their lives, Janice says.

On the Go started out feeding nine people; today, partnering with First Baptist Church of Carolina Beach, it serves 70. It also pairs families with volunteers who can help with other needs and on Sundays, picks up children for a fresh breakfast and Sunday school.

We are grateful for St. Paul’s and its compassionate support of our families, not only through On the Go, but also with gifts that serve vulnerable children and give all in our care a chance to grow to their full, God-given potential.

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