An area church will provide food and comfort to people in need again next Wednesday, the day of the monthly community supper at First Baptist Church of Bellville.
The church has been providing suppers to area people since the spring of 2013, said pastor William Henderson.
The church “recognizes the need for people to have supplements,” said Henderson.
People may be out of work, or have other difficulties that mean they are in need of outside help, he said.
First Baptist has worked with Jeff Wright, who had been rector at Bellville Neighborhood Outreach Center (BNOC), said Henderson.
That group has a monthly food distribution service that has people driving into Bellville from many nearby areas. The parking lots outside another local church, St. Paul Lutheran, fill up before that food is distributed.
Henderson said Wright has statistics about hunger needs, so he is familiar with what people may be requiring.
The community supper attracts about 100 people, but that amount varies, said Henderson. They come from the Clear Fork area, Mansfield, and Knox, Morrow and Richland counties, he said.
The church’s activities are listed in various neighborhood and local information sites, said Henderson.
The church is “not as large as some in the community” in the numbers of people it attracts, but it still provides a service, Henderson said.
The church works with the Cleveland Food Bank, which delivers prepared meals. The Food Bank also provides access to other services, Henderson said.
The Food Bank sends a truck, which stops first at BNOC, then comes to the church, he said. The meal is a hot one, which has an entree that varies, said Henderson. It can be several varieties of chicken or other meats.There are one of two side dishes, lettuce or salad, fruit, and always desserts.
The church people “for the most part” prepare desserts, he said.
Henderson said the mayor (Mayor Darrell Banks) helped one time, and a bakery that is no longer in existence used to provide baked goods.
There are no particular requirements a person attending must meet, said Henderson.
The church provides “food and fellowship,” he said.
Some older people may not have anyone else at home, or might be in need otherwise, he said.
The church does not provide music when the meal is occurring, Hernderson said.
“Basically we focus on serving,” he said.
The director for the event is Bob Alexander, Henderson said. There is a staff of about a half dozen volunteers who help heat and serve. There is also clean-up duty, and someone has to wipe down tables. For the event, paper plates are used.
“We have a lot of fun doing it,” he said.
Reach Louise at 419-886-2291