By Mary Jane Silva
Farmington United Methodist Church is in Washington County, Northwest Arkansas, a hub of prosperity. However, estimates place nearly 82,000 persons at risk of food insecurity in the four-county area, (NWA Dem-Gaz, Nov. 28, 2021), which includes Washington County. In response, Farmington UMC serves many families in transition and persons who live on their own through its local Food Pantry. And as church members say, “every little bit helps.”
To minister to those neighbors who are food insecure, alone or are under any other circumstance that doesn’t allow for a traditional Thanksgiving meal, Farmington UMC church members worked to feed their neighbors hot, prepared meals-to-go; served drive-through style on this Thanksgiving Day. This is a ministry outreach that the church has named “Thanksgiving Feast to Go.”
The meals consisted of turkey and dressing with all of the trimmings, including pie for dessert. In addition, free children’s books were displayed outside on mobile shelves for families to pick up as they received their meal. The turkey was donated through Cargill in Springdale and all of the prep and the food sides were provided by the congregation.
Rev. Dee Harper offered prayer support as people picked up their meals. He said, “The Thanksgiving Feast to Go is a wonderful opportunity for our church to serve our neighbors. Many people right now have obstacles or life situations they are struggling through; not only do we offer a hot meal for Thanksgiving but we also try to offer hope, compassion, and understanding.”
Organizer Jeff Silva said, “We think it is very important for the folks to have a hot meal served to them on Thanksgiving Day. It’s just a small way that we can show our love and concern for those in need.”
This year was the church’s sixth Thanksgiving Feast to Go and more than 140 feasts were shared. Farmington UMC plans to continue this annual event.
For more information on setting up a “Feast to Go” for your ministry, please contact Mary Jane Silva firstname.lastname@example.org.