Your OUMC Hot Meal Ministry team served its first meal at Orangethorpe Christian Church on September 27. 66 guests, including 8 children, joined us for a dinner which featured beef and noodle casserole, green beans, salad, cookies, canned peaches and choice of beverages. The diners complimented our chefs on the quantity and quality of the food. "Just like home cooking!" Turnouts for the first month at OCC have been slightly lower than expected. This has given us a good opportunity to learn what we're doing without the pressure of dealing with large crowds. We know the number of guests will increase over the winter.

About 20 willing workers turned out to serve under the patient and efficient leadership of Mary Harvey. Doug King made the rounds of local markets and produce companies to get the best deals on food and supplies. We're very grateful to several local businesses such as Hunt and Nabisco who donated their products to our ministry.

We had hoped to receive some help from a food distribution agency that gets food from the Federal government, but we learned we would have to take our guests' names and addresses and file reports as to how many people of what race we fed. We believe these government-imposed requirements are meddlesome and intrusive. We'll consider, along with the three other churches participating in the Ministry, whether to go ahead with just the help of donations from our members and from private industry. As we said in an earlier Newsletter: "Meals will be served to anybody who is hungry... No questions asked. No red tape."

Thanks to the support of the United Methodist Women and United Methodist Men and to many of you who have paid your entire pledge in advance, we are assured of being able to provide hot meals to whoever needs them for the next several months. We have faith that this strong support will continue and will enable us to serve those who are in need. If you are giving monthly, please write "Hot Meal Ministry" and the amount you are donating on your offering envelope.

We will serve our next meal the evening of October 25. Anybody who isn't already a member of the service team is welcome to join us. Contact Mary Harvey to sign up. We'll be glad to put you to work!

"I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me..."— Matthew 25

Webservant note: The article above appeared in an October 1993 newsletter of Orangethorpe United Methodist Church. It is made available among the history pages of OUMC's web site to celebrate the beginning of the 20th year of our participation in Hot Meal Ministry.

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