by Cara Kiggins
Lack of shelter and hunger in our community are human rights issues. The best way to address this human rights issue is debatable – these are big questions, with no easy answers. As followers of Christ, we feel called to respond to the folks we see in our neighborhood streets experiencing hunger and homelessness. While feeding hungry people at the Ballard Sunday Dinner might not be a big-picture solution, the immediate effect is providing a compassionate, safe space for individuals experiencing hunger and homelessness to fill their bellies with a fresh warm meal on a Sunday evening. Last month we had a great team of volunteers and served 60 plates of pulled pork sandwiches, potato salad, caesar salad, and chocolate chip cookies. Many guests expressed gratitude for the delicious meal as they left, previously hungry bellies full of nutritious food.
This month our Ballard Sunday Dinner is Sunday August 20th. It takes all of us taking turns and chipping in to make this happen. If you are available August 20th and haven’t taken a turn cooking, serving, greeting or cleaning up, volunteer positions are available.
One volunteer shares their experience:
“I originally volunteered because I thought it was the right thing to do and I wanted to put a face to homelessness. Step by step that is happening.
One time I came while another church was volunteering, as I was asked to do so. I felt a little bit uncomfortable because I had nothing to do to keep busy. So I sat on a bench to observe. It wasn’t long before one of the guests came and asked me to join them at their table. It took me by surprised and I thought how many times have people sat and not been invited to join a group. We had a great conversation. The guests at the table shared some of their stories. They told me how important it is to have a Sunday dinner, as there are lots of meals provided on the weekdays, but not on the weekends. These guests had come from the Interbay homeless camp to eat. Often times people tell me it’s their only meal of the day and they are grateful.”
Sign up online at https://tinyurl.com/jzpyoxs
Serve and Lead
We are building a team of Leads for the Ballard Sunday Dinner and we’re looking for six new people to join the “Lead” team. Leads work in teams of two, and if we build up the team to a healthy level Leads will only serve in this position every 4-6 months, 2-3 times a year.
The role of the Lead includes
- planning the meal (we are collating sample meals and recipes to select from)
- purchasing ingredients
- directing the cooking crew volunteers
- eating with our guests, and taking a turn at serving
- serving as the ‘go-to’ person
If you’re anything like me (Cara) you might not feel super confident planning a meal for seventy people. Some assure me it’s not a big deal, but for the skeptical among us we have some very experienced cooks within our community who have many years experience cooking for large groups of people and they are willing to share the knowledge they’ve gained over the years.
Everyone who has served as a Lead says it is a very, very rewarding role to take on. “Many hands make light work”. Please join this Lead team and help spread the work out to a manageable, sustainable level!
There will be a planning meeting in the fall to assign dates to Leads for the year, and also determine 4 set meal plans, recipes, and shopping lists for Leads to choose from. Contact me, Cara, at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions!