The Welcome Table: Now in our 4th year!
You may have driven by The Welcome Table sign out on Todds Lane.
Tuesday nights, at 6 PM sharp, the doors of our social hall open with the aroma of freshly prepared food. Guests are welcomed, seated at a dressed out table and served by a wait staff. Three rotating cook teams make every effort to offer tasty and balanced meals for an average of 125-180 guests plus a significant number of volunteer workers.
Purpose. To offer a free, nutritious meal once every week to our guests who are of every race, ethnicity, and economic status, singles and families, secure and homeless, working and those just getting by, seniors and children. All are welcomed with respect and warmth.
Focus. To feed both physical hunger and the hunger for companionship.
Goal. To become a place where “volunteers” and “guests” work and share side by side, meeting needs, increasing understanding, and strengthening the community in which we all live and work.
Special Sharing. The guests and volunteers mingle to share concerns and joys. Guests are invited to bless the food and share joyous occasions such as birthdays and wedding anniversaries. Sometimes, guests even provide musical entertainment for the whole group. The pastor and others spend time with our guests, many of whom become familiar faces and whose stories we learn and concerns we share. At the end of the dinner hour, you’ll find guests helping volunteers put away the salt shakers, wipe down the tablecloths and straighten the hall. You may notice, some guests have become volunteers assisting in the serving of others.
Volunteers. Every week some 20-30 volunteers, most drawn from members of our congregation and neighborhood friends. 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. Once the meal actually begins a varying collection of volunteers from outside the church and younger members from within the church assume the actual serving of the guests.
Material Support. A majority of the food is donated by local suppliers via partners of the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank (including Farm Fresh, Food Lion, and Panera Bread). Some of the cost is covered by donations to the church specifically for The Welcome Table (which can be mailed to the church and specifically designated for this effort). The Welcome Table will also gladly accept 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).
Invitation. You are invited to join us as guest or as a volunteer in this effort to make God’s love known in this community.
We are blessed to be a partner agency with the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank, which you can learn more about by clicking on the "button" below.