Back when West Nottingham Presbyterian started providing free lunch, there were eight volunteers and eight diners.
Eight years later, when the meals resumed after a summer break, about 200 people lined up to eat.
Georganne Winslow has coordinated the meals since they started in 2008. This year, the volunteers took off during July and August. When they returned in September, people turned out in droves. The first meal of the fall was a stovetop chicken casserole. There was also peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, tuna salad, green salad, and more.
"We plan for 200. We usually get 150," said Winslow. "Some come for the socialization. We feed the soul too. We have people hand us money. We take the donations but we don't have a basket out. We have people come because they need a meal. And everything that's left, we give it to them to take home. We assume they need it." When it's available, there is also produce to take home. A volunteer brings any surplus from local Maryland Food Bank distributions to share with West Nottingham. There are also free books available to all.
Georgia Driscoll of Colora isn't a member of the church. She heard about the free meals and began volunteering.
"I just pitch in. I just like to help them. I'm retired now," said Driscoll.
"We have a good time in the kitchen. That's why the workers come back," said Winslow.
Lara Hensley said she never misses a luncheon. "I come every time they have it. I'm treated well and it's good food,"said Hensley.
John, who lives in Rising Sun, used to be a regular. He recently returned to the luncheons after a three-year break. "I'm not much on salad but the food is good. You don't complain about free food," he said.
Paul Morrison of Conowingo agreed. "The food is good here. Whatever they have is always good," said Morrison.
The lunches are served free of charge the second and fourth Tuesday of every month at the church from 11:30-12:30.
The twice a month lunch isn't West Nottingham Presbyterian's only feeding ministry. Once a month on Wednesday evenings, meals for individuals and families are served up. For the cost of $5 per person or $10 for a family, volunteers prepare and serve a meal.
The church is located at 1195 Firetower Road, Colora.