|Feeding of the 5,000 exceeds expectations |
|Posted: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 9:10 pm |
| By CHRIS MENEES |
It was a Thanksgiving meal that exceeded expectations.
About 5,200 meals were served Tuesday during the 13th annual Community Feeding of the 5,000 — and some food was still being distributed today.
The traditional Thanks-giving meal was served free throughout the day to anyone in the community who would benefit from a homecooked meal and fellowship. It was based on the biblical account of Jesus’ feeding a multitude with a boy’s meager lunch of fish and bread.
Volunteers started their work early Tuesday at the host church, Union City First Baptist Church, where they formed assembly lines to prepare thousands of takeout meals for delivery to shut-ins and satellite feeding sites throughout Obion County and beyond.
Many diners chose to enjoy the turkey and dressing feast on site at the host church or at one of the satellite feeding locations in their hometown, while others enjoyed taking boxed carryout meals to share with their loved ones.
Hattie Lou Brown, a member of the Feeding of the 5,000 planning committee and a driving force behind the effort, confirmed Tuesday’s meal count topped 5,000.
“To the best of our knowledge — and two have not reported yet from their satellites — there were 5,200 meals served,” she said.
This morning, Mrs. Brown was back at the host church’s family life center to make sure leftover dressing from Tuesday’s meal was given to someone from Helping Hand Ministry in Union City. The dressing, packaged in gallon baggies, will be distributed to those in need of food on Thanksgiving Day.
“They said people are begging for food for Thanksgiving and they will give it out to those in need,” she said. “Every bite of food from the meal will be used. I just feel so good that we know that.”
Mrs. Brown said it truly was a community effort and she expressed appreciation to everyone who helped with the meal — including those who donated or prepared food in advance, those who donated canned goods for local food pantries and the many volunteers who served or delivered meals Tuesday.
Many local churches of all denominations, schools, civic organizations, scout groups and businesses, as well as concerned individuals from the community, were involved in the effort.
Canned goods collected through recent drives at Union City’s three schools were divided for distribution among Helping Hand Ministry and Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church’s feeding program, both in Union City; Reelfoot Rural Ministries in rural Obion County; We Care Ministries in Martin; and Northwest Tennessee Disaster Services.
“That’s what is so wonderful — people going out, working together, helping to prepare and serve and deliver,” Mrs. Brown said this morning.
“It went completely as planned. It was wonderful. Everything just went so well and we fed (at the host church’s family life center) until 4:30 Tuesday afternoon. No one was turned away.”
She said the meal was so well-received that, at one point, more seats had to be added for those who enjoyed the meal at the church’s family life center.
“It was a beautiful day and people could even get here on foot this year,” she said. “It was a good, good day.”
Mrs. Brown said she believes the meal was provided to everyone in the community who had need Tuesday.
“I feel like those in need were fed,” she said. “God is good.”
Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.Published in The Messenger 11.21.12