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  • Burt Rieff

Mobile Food Ministry Update

Coalition/Edgemont Food Team,

First, thanks for the great team effort on November 21. Eighteen individuals (from 14 households and numerous churches) prepared the meal. Preparing 80 meals of turkey/chicken and dressing, seasoned green beans, cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole, and homemade desserts would be a big task during “normal times” with our small kitchen, but during a pandemic, this required numerous faithful volunteers willing to serve in various roles and environments to keep all of us safe (minimum number of people in kitchen). Some volunteers served in one role; numerous served in various roles from food prep to serving to delivery.

Below is a general list of tasks handled by 18 volunteers:

(1) Food preparation in homes or kitchens: 24 pounds of turkey/chicken chopped, 12 cups of homemade cornbread for dressing, 12 cups of finely chopped celery for dressing, and 80 homemade desserts (prepared by two separate families).

(2) One family picked up all the supplies for sweet potato casserole and prepared 80 servings in their home; returned four trays of casserole in a light weight warmer.

(3) Six volunteers delivered food (this included a social worker and Hester from FPC who delivered to Safeplace).

(4) Numerous cooks, those who worked on the serving line, and those who had the thankless task of cleaning up!

(5) Volunteers at FPC who helped with curb-side pickup.

Second, thanks for reaching the one-year mark of this food ministry! Lots of learning from experience (how to deliver food in a parking lot and other locations). Numerous hurdles to overcome. But you stayed faithful in your commitment and (despite the learning curve and the hurdles) you remained willing to serve during difficult times (when we prepared three and four meals per month). With the experience we have gained, we will be evaluating the ministry and our processes/procedures as we head into 2021.

Third, we have a couple of difficult and uncertain months ahead of us with the continuing pandemic. A steadfast determination to keep our volunteers safe is paramount. This may require us preparing more food in homes (you have proved this can be done). Or it may mean adjusting our menus to reduce the number of volunteers in the kitchen. Our meatloaf is greatly appreciated, but (with food prep in homes) a meal of White Bean Chicken Chili and Cornbread Casserole (or regular cornbread) will still be a good meal. We are committed to providing the best meal possible while being mindful of our resources—and our most important resource is our volunteers, so we want to be sure we are keeping everyone safe and healthy.

Fourth, we are considering preparation of a Christmas meal for a limited number of individuals, families, etc. Tentative menu: ham with dressing, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce, copper coins, and desserts. To prepare and delivery this meal, we will need numerous volunteers (including food preparation in homes). If you are interested in participating in this project, let us know soon. The availability of volunteers during the holidays will determine whether this meal is feasible.

Looking forward to our teamwork for the next year.

-Burt Rieff

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