At 8am each Thursday, volunteers are busy at work at United Methodist Church in Bonners Ferry preparing a meal for up to 100 people. A weekly tradition for two years, the community meal is open to everyone.
Melanie Staples has been involved in hosting the community meal since it began and feels blessed to be a part of it. “A former pastor at United Methodist came up with the idea, and we took a leap of faith,” said Melanie. “We chose to host the luncheon on Thursdays as that is the day the Senior Center is closed.”
Melanie and the approximately 10 volunteers gather at 8am each Thursday to make sure everything is ready to go for the 11:30am luncheon, which goes until 1pm. The meal is a full meal complete with salad, a main course and dessert. Melanie explains that nearly all the food is donated, with many of the desserts being provided by members of United Methodist Church.
“Everything is fresh,” said Melanie “Much of our food comes from the community garden.”
When it first began two years ago, there were approximately 40 to 50 people who attended the luncheons, and this past summer they saw as many as 100—a testament to how much people enjoy the fellowship and food.
“It’s become a very nice community and social event,” said Melanie. Professionals from the community often attend as do caregivers who bring in those who may not otherwise be able to get out and socialize. “One does not have to be associated with the church to attend. We welcome everyone.”
There is no charge for the meal, although donations are accepted.
In addition to putting on the meal, volunteers also do outreach and deliver food to seniors who are homebound, checking in on them and visiting for a while.
This is a gift to the community and all are welcome to enjoy a meal together and visit with old friends while making some new ones along the way!