Fredericksburg First Friday Food Ministry

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.

--Harry Chapin (American singer and song writer, 1942-1981)

FIRST FRIDAY FRIENDS

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.

For the remainder of 2010 and into 2011, Fredericksburg Food Ministry has committed new programs and expansion of our existing programs: 
  • "Just Dessert" parties held at local nursing homes and assisted living facilities beginning in early 2011.
  • Hands-on FREE community cooking classes for healthy eating beginning in November 2010, building on the base we began with our cooking classes at the Boys and Girls Club over the summer.
  • Increase the number of Christmas dinners we prepare, package and deliver as our gift to people in the community in need of some TLC from 124 to 150.
  • Offer meals for families with young children in conjunction with the Hill Country Needs Council beginning in early 2010.
  • Increase the number of Easter gift baskets and cookie sacks we create and deliver (with the help of our community-wide "Bunny Brigade" and Meals on Wheels drivers) 600 in 2010 to 800 for Easter 2011.
How can you help? Join us! We need all sorts of people with all sorts of backgrounds, interests and skills. Our volunteers range from ages 10 to 89. We work hard and we have fun. To learn how you can be a part of our movable feat click on the link below.

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