Parkes Uniting Church Makes a Meal of It
Parkes Uniting Church have celebrated a year of generosity, where they provided free Monday meals to over 700 people.
Once a month, volunteers help the community by serving up free meals in the church hall, a service that began on 28 June 2017.
Celebrating Monthly Monday Meals’ first anniversary on Monday 2 July, volunteers served up a birthday cake to 80 people.
During the service’s trial first year, the church fed over 700 guests, volunteer Bev Hawken told local newspaper The Parkes Champion.
“It’s been a lot more successful than we ever envisaged and we will be continuing it on in the same format,” Ms Hawken said.
“There are always news guests but there are also a lot of regulars – some have been coming the whole time, they don’t miss a month,” she said.
“So we consider we are doing the right thing, we must be satisfying them.”
Originally three teams of 12 alternated preparing, cooking and serving the monthly meal.
“We have modified things as we’ve gone along, we are learning on the run,” Bev said.
The service now has five team leaders and a head waiter. Apart from cash donations the group receives excess food from Anglicare’s “Georgie’s Pantry” and the SecondBite program.
Neighbourhood Central have also supported the initiative by providing transport to older members of the community.
“It’s fabulous we have tapped into the elderly part of our community.”
“It’s just a really relaxed, happy atmosphere.”
“We are still getting families, some nights we might only have one but we could have four.”
Jonathan Foye is Insights’ Editor