Where does The Red Door food come from ?
Where do you get enough food to serve 100 to 150 people a week?
Well, I’m learning that it is like a relay race each week. We actually ask the same question and watch three dynamics come into play on a weekly basis. We serve hot meals and try to include protein, vegies, starches and bread, coffee, tea, and, of course, desert! I’ll try to answer the question even though I’m sure I’m missing several steps.
Deacon Tim is the contact for Food Connection, a ministry that picks up what they call “rescued meals” and delivers pans of commercially prepared foods from area conference centers and restaurants who donate their leftovers. When they find out that food is available for us, they will give Tim a call and say something like, “We’ve got 6 pans of chicken and 4 pans of sweet potatoes and we’ll be at the Red Door in an hour. Boom! Tim, or someone he calls, stops what he’s doing and scurries to meet them. And we never know what day we’ll hear from them.
Sandy, our food coordinator checks our freezer and cooler and our pantry supplies each week to see what’s on hand. She then places an order at the local food bank, Manna, sometimes not knowing if we’ll get a delivery from Food Connection or not. Then, to Sam’s if we need paper products.
A faithful woman named Jackie schedules area Episcopal churches on a rotating basis. They get in touch with Sandy to see what is needed. And, they arrive on Sundays bringing their food, worshipping with us and serving our meals to us. They are met by our Good Works Crew, members of our community, who work in the kitchen. This past Sunday the youth group from All Souls were with us. And one of them even stepped in and served as our crucifer and acolyte.
Every week unfolds differently – but there’s always enough, thanks to many moving parts who all work together so that a hot meal will be ready for those who are hungry.
Dena B. Whalen (The Rev. Dr.)
Vicar, Church of the Advocate