On the first Saturday of each month, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m., the Fellowship Hall at Lynchburg First United Methodist Church is a beehive of activity. The Lynchburg Soup Kitchen is in operation, with volunteers buzzing — serving guests, preparing carry-out orders and obviously having a good time.
Happy voices and a delicious aroma draw you in to the bright and cheerful dining room, where cloth covered tables and vases of flowers convey the message to all comers: “You are welcome here.”
The seed of this idea was planted when Mary Kaye Simmons was helping pass out Second Harvest food boxes at Wiseman Park. She saw a need that could be met by the church, to provide nourishment for both body and soul in a very personal way.
After several months of discussion and planning, nothing was happening. So, in January 2012, with the blessing of Lynchburg First United Methodist Pastor Ricky Lee, Mary Kaye and her husband Roger decided to trust the Lord and start their journey.
They served 54 people at that first Soup Kitchen. One year later, in January 2013, the assembled group of volunteers served 266. Turkey Creek United Methodist Church joined the effort in July 2012.
The story of how everything comes together each month might amaze some, but for those who know the generosity of Moore County residents, it’s really not surprising. Church members and folks from the community start bringing food early “soup day” morning.
Mary Kaye used to fret about running out of food, but she doesn’t anymore. Just like Jesus feeding the 5,000, there just always seems to be enough.
At about 10:45 a.m., in assembly-line fashion, nine or 10 kitchen workers prepare plates of cornbread and dessert, a 16-ounce cup of hot soup and a big cup of sweet tea. The five to six drivers are given their delivery lists and the food for the sick and shut-ins. They carry a few extra meals in case there is a caregiver in the home at the time. The goal is to have all deliveries made by 12:15 p.m.
Read the complete story in the March 14 print edition of The Moore County News. (Click here to subscribe to the print or online edition of The Moore County News)
— By JUNE PUGH (June Pugh is an award-winning writer whose “More About Moore” column appears every other week in the Moore County News. You may reach her at <firstname.lastname@example.org>)