Redfield church members feed the community

Published: Jun. 16, 2016 at 6:42 PM CDT
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After reading an inspirational book six years ago about loving others, members of the Wesleyan church in Redfield have been doing just that ever since.

The Wesleyan church members in Redfield are continuing their summer tradition of feeding their community. And there are no signs of them slowing down.

When it comes to caring for others, these Redfield residents have got the concept down. A Christian book read during a book club in 2011 first spurred the idea of hosting a summer lunch.

"The book encouraged its readers to essentially love the people around you and love your community with a kind of love that doesn't make any sense," says Marly Kendrick, one of the coordinators of the summer lunch.

And the group decided to show that love through cooking, serving and delivering lunch free of charge. Other than donations, the volunteers take on the task alone.

"There is quite a bit of work," says Cindy Sanger, another organizer for the free lunch. "Dan and Sue Shafer are responsible for a big portion of the meat, they get us a certificate at the meat locker for a minimum of three hundred dollars."

The food is prepared either before the lunch or while everyone gathers together, which can be tricky, since they are never sure how many people will show up.

"Some days we prepare for 45 and we've had 100 come, but somehow, we've never run out of food," says Kendrick.

The environment inside the church is friendly and casual. The children play games with each other while families sit and eat for half an hour and enjoy the company of churchgoers.

"It's also really fun to help out and hang out with other people that are here and we can socialize," says Cameron Schultz, a volunteer with summer lunch.

The work can be tiring. The volunteers have full time jobs, and the summer can get busy. But the heart of the summer lunch draws them back each year.

The program began the second week of June and will continue every weekday at noon until mid-August.