Food for the hungry

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 26, 2004

Someone told Deborah Fowler to do it.

Chances are, it was Him.

In any case, Fowler was one of over 60 volunteers from New Mount Joy Family Worship Center and Southside Baptist Church that joined up with parishioners of the Tabernacle Christian Church on Thursday to help the area’s less fortunate get a taste of Thanksgiving – in every sense of the word. They put together meals with food donated by the churches to give out to visitors.

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&uot;They announced it in church, and I knew the Lord wanted me to help,&uot; said Fowler, handing out desserts with other members of Southside. &uot;We spend a lot of time focused on ourselves, and we don’t think of the many people that won’t get a hot meal today. It’s worth giving up Thanksgiving dinner for this.&uot;

Fowler might have given up her own, but because of her and the rest of the volunteers, more than 400 visitors got a special dinner at the church. In addition, some 100 carryout meals were given away, and leftover food was taken to local nursing home residents.

&uot;I ran out of propane at my house, and my husband’s sick,&uot; said Melody Beard-Bay, one of the first to arrive at the dinner. &uot;This is a day where everybody gets together. Black or white, everybody’s smiling and helping each other. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen things like that, and it’s exactly the way it’s supposed to be.&uot;

In the kitchen, Eveline Brown of Mt. Joy put together carryout food.

&uot;We’re here to help anyone who needs help,&uot; she said. &uot;It’s more blessed to give than to receive. A part of Mt. Joy ministry to giving to the less fortunate, because we serve the Lord by serving others. I can be more of help here than I can at home.&uot;

Home was a long way away for volunteer Lynne Harris, who came from San Diego to visit her daughter Michelle.

&uot;This is my first Thanksgiving off in 30 years,&uot; Harris said. &uot;My mother and I do this every year back at our house. There’s no dishes to clean here!&uot;

&uot;We didn’t want to sit around and cook a huge meal at home,&uot; Michelle said. &uot;It’s great to see how appreciative other people are, seeing them smile when you serve them a piece of pie.&uot;

Larry Williams certainly was.

&uot;I don’t have any food at my house,&uot; he said, sitting down to eat. &uot;It ran out two or three days ago. Tomorrow, I’m going to the Salvation Army and get a plate. I’m thankful that I’m living and able to enjoy this meal. I have the opportunity for this meal and not be by myself and not have anything.&uot;

&uot;This food is great!&uot; Henry Goodman said with a smile. &uot;I like the church, and I like to see people eat and have fun. It makes me feel good to see these people helping each other.&uot;