Our lives are to be used and thus to be lived as fully as possible, and truly it seems that we are never so alive as when we concern ourselves with other people.
Started by a small group of Fredericksburg citizens who believe that good things happen when people come together to share a meal, Fredericksburg Food Ministry held its first "First Friday" lunch in January of 2009.
A local Episcopal Church offered the hospitality of its parish hall and commercial kitchen for meal preparation and dining for that initial meal, and we served 52 people at that lunch. People said they wanted more, so we went to work planning future lunches. Attendance grew each month. In November, we welcomed 140 people at our table.
While lunch attendance was building, we began extending our outreach to people who couldn't come to lunch. In June, we began delivering made-from-scratch meals to people in the community who are home-bound, ill or otherwise in need of a little neighbor-to-neighbor TLC.
In the summer of 2009 we also began a tradition of spotlighting a different community service organization at each month's First Friday lunch. The SPCA in August. The Needs Council Food4Kids program in September. Area organizations committed to literacy in October. Local Veterans of USA Armed Forces in November. Toys for Tots in December. The spotlight has raised awareness--and much needed contributions of everything from dog food to entire libraries of books from our lunch guests.
We ended our first year on a joyous high note: thanks to the generosity of a single donor, we were able to prepare, package and personally deliver 124 full Christmas dinners to house-bound people in Gillespie County to celebrate the blessings of the season.
We began 2010 realizing that we needed additional kitchen and dining facilities, both for First Friday lunches and for our growing food ministry serving people throughout Gillespie county. In late-Summer, Fredericksburg United Methodist Church offered us the hospitality of its kitchen and fellowship hall--and a HUGE storage room for all our "stuff." September's lunch was especially joyous, as we began a new chapter in our food ministry's growth using these wonderful new facilities.