On Thursday evenings, the smell of meat on the grill and the sound of laughter fills the Avondale neighborhood, specifically on the corner of 10th Street and Sampson Ave. The sight of volunteers setting up tables, cutting fruit and vegetables, and walking the streets provokes questions and interest. Yet, for over a year now, the folks at Avondale United Methodist Church have opened up their doors and prepared a hot meal that is served to over 75 guests each week. The simple act of sharing food has led to neighbors trusting each other, openly sharing their thoughts and ideas, building new relationships, and serving together in the neighborhood.
While the meal was initially established to feed hungry stomachs, the servers and the guests have found that the event also fills social and spiritual needs too. The meal has become a way for neighborhood people to get to know one another. After all, food is powerful. It brings people together, shapes memories, and empowers our communities. Though easy to forget while we’re rushing through our day, sharing a meal is an intimate experience, and those who sit beside us at the table can feel this intimacy. Bonds with loved ones become stronger, and strangers feel like strangers no more.
Thursday nights have become an established place of food, peace, and friendship in the neighborhood. Dinner is served at 5:00pm but the coffee pot is normally on by 4:00 for those who like to come early to socialize. You’re invited to join.