An idea for a soup kitchen in Elmira has turned into plans for a new community event run by Trinity United Church.
A chat with Kelly Christie of Woolwich Community Services turned six of the congregation’s women towards doing something for the community on a broader scale: a monthly “Community Can Dine” dinner event with an inclusive touch.
“The original idea started more for emergency food programming, and I think there’s an opportunity for the whole community to come together to build those partnerships. That’s what I see it being, more of a community event to bring people together. If it touches those that need programs to access food, then that’s great” said Melissa Hallock of Trinity United.
The social aspect of the event is important, said another volunteer, Barb Taylor.
“It’s not just anybody who is highly social. People that are eating at home by themselves – this is an opportunity for them to have a night out and eat with somebody else and talk to somebody else instead of looking across the table at no one.”
Whether you are a single mom with kids, a senior, a chatterbox or just don’t feel like cooking, the event is open to all, say organizers. While the first event, taking place on June 14, will likely be sparsely attended, they admit, there is much room to grow through suggestions and local talent coming forward to perform at future events.
The group is also provinding visitors with a suggestion box and hopes that dinners will become livelier as time goes on, with performances by local entertainers or even some talented diners.
The dinners will take place in the church’s fellowship hall, which is equipped with a certified kitchen and is completely accessible.
“We want interaction and mingling,” said volunteer Corrine Taylor.
The ladies hope to get the communiy involved here too, planning to collaborate with Girl Guides, local Scouting groups, and organizations in the coming months.
“And all ages, too: we want to get youth involved and all the way up to seniors helping us do this,” added Corrine Taylor.
So, what’s on the menu for the next few events? Don’t expect a king’s feast, but the ladies are getting creative.
“We’re a low-budget/ no-budget kind of event so we see what’s on special … it’s just whatever we have on hand,” said Jessica Schantz.
The first dinner is being served on June 14 at Trinity United Church hall, which can sit about 100 visitors. A barbecue dinner of hot dogs, hamburgers and salads will be served up from 6-7:30 p.m. For more information contact Kelly Christie at WCS, 519-669-5139, or Melissa Hallock at 519-210-0226.
“Everyone is welcome, no matter what,” Hallock said.