You may have driven by “The Welcome Table” sign out on Todds Lane. In late January 2019 we entered our 5th year, having served over 23,000 meals thus far! You are invited to join us as guest or as a volunteer in this effort to make God’s love known in this community.
Tuesday nights, at 6 PM sharp, the doors of our social hall open with the aroma of freshly home-style food. Guests are welcomed, seated at dressed out tables and then served by volunteer wait staff. Our guests are of every race, ethnicity, and economic status, singles and families, secure and homeless, seniors and children, working and those living paycheck to paycheck. Everyone who comes to the door is welcomed with respect and warmth.
Four rotating cook teams make every effort to offer our free, tasty and balanced meals for an average of 120-155 guests, as we address both hunger/food insecurity and create a hospitable place of community where ALL are welcome. The menu is generally posted to our Facebook page on Tuesday afternoons, or call the church office (757-826-0711) before 2 pm.
Guests and volunteers mingle and often share concerns and joys, as our guests are invited to bless the food and share joyous occasions such as birthdays and wedding anniversaries. The pastor and others spend time with our guests, many of whom become familiar faces and whose stories we learn and concerns we share. While not central to the Welcome Table's mission, upon leaving the table our guests can take advantage of both our clothing closet (established by the Girl Scouts for us!) and free groceries that include breads and other items we are grateful to receive from our Foodbank partners.
Volunteering? Every week some 20-30 volunteers, most members of our congregation, others from the neighborhood, nearby churches, and service members. There is a lot of laughter and joy shared during the Monday mornings initial food preparation and then Tuesday afternoon preparation, the dinner, and clean-up. Interested in volunteering, please let us know!
Supplies? A majority of the food we use is donated to us by partners of the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank (Food Lion, WalMart and Panera Bread). Some of the cost is covered by donations to the church in an account designated for "The Welcome Table." We certainly will accept monetary donations, as well as the following items for meal preparation: canned vegetables (no green peas), canned baked beans, canned peaches or apples, diced tomatoes, canned sweet potatoes, instant mashed potatoes, light brown sugar, and creamed soups (chicken, mushroom, and celery).
You can learn more about the larger work of Virginia Peninsula Foodbank, by clicking on the "button" below.