by Lisa Tome
After three years of serving up weekly meals, Wright's AME Church hasn't veered from its mission.
"This is the Wilson Purdy Outreach Ministry. We serve food weekly. It's drop in. There are no requirements. This invitation is extended to the whole community. We have people come here from the hospital and the community," said church Pastor R. Kevin Brown.
"Without something like this, the church isn't a community church. It's just a church in the community," said Pastor Brown. "This is an opportunity for enrichment. People know they can come to the church and get spiritual enlightenment. They have an advocate and a safe place here."
Every Tuesday, year round, about 7-10 volunteers gather in the church kitchen to prepare for the meals which are served on Wednesdays. "Today, we are having meatballs and noodles with mixed vegetables and fruit cocktail for dessert," said Glenda Lewis who works in the kitchen. Lewis said that about 20 meals are served up weekly but she'd like to serve more. "We are hoping people will start coming back," said Lewis.
"It's still fun. We enjoy what we're doing. We serve seniors and homeless, working people and babies. We feed them all and enjoy it," said Lewis. Food is served from 11 a.m. until 12:15. There's also time for fellowship and conversation. "These ladies are always here. There is no struggle at all finding volunteers. We treat everyone the same and we want more people to come," said Lewis.
"When people come here, we don't say welcome home. But the spirit is that you are home," said Pastor Brown. "The goal is not about getting members for the church. The goal is connecting with the community and its needs," said Pastor Brown.
"The great thing about the Elkton community is that a lot of churches and organizations are feeding also. Those on low and subsidized incomes have a buffet of places to eat," added Pastor Brown.