November 30, 2011

Manna Meals is a weekly meal that is served in the Community Center of Nicholasville United Methodist Church (Lexington District).  The meal is served every Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  Diners are seated at tables and are waited on by servers. Their meal is delivered to their table on real plates. Each meal is a restaurant quality, well-balanced meal.

The meal was begun to try to alleviate some of the hunger in our county and show God’s love to those in need. The meal began in September of 2008 and was served once a month. Within a short time the meal had expanded to twice per month. The meal began serving weekly meals in March of 2010.
 
We have a great team of volunteers that numbered over 100 for 2011. We have five strong team leaders. These teams develop their own menus, shop and prepare the meal. Recent meals have included roasted pork loin, sliced ham, meatloaf and many other delicious dishes. Their food is always enjoyed by the diners. The diners are given at least one take-home meal and more if food is available for another meal for them. Many take a meal to someone they know that is not able to attend the meal.

Most volunteers serve once a month, but some serve every week. There are others that come once or twice to fulfill volunteer requirements. We continue to have persons from the community volunteer. We also have some regular groups that volunteer once a month: Southland Christian Church Marriage Matters SS Class, Bethel Christian Church Joy Circle, NUMC Barbara Abshear Circle, and NUMC Youth Group. Groups of students from several of Asbury’s Seminary programs and several local church youth groups, sports teams, Daisy, Brownie and Cub Scout Troops have volunteered for one Saturday during the past year. All of these volunteers are needed and appreciated for their service. God always provides enough people to serve the meal each week, but there is always room for more volunteers. You will be truly blessed if you serve.

The financial contributions continue to overwhelm me. Almost every week there are contributions that come into the church that have been designated for Manna. Many of these contributions come from the NUMC Family. Without these donations the meal would not be possible. Please know that your contribution makes a difference. We are still able to provide a meal for approximately $1.00 per person. We have also had many churches, businesses, and organizations donate this past year.  

Through the first week in November, we have served 17,350 meals since we began in September 2008. Our attendance during the year was averaging about 145 meals each week. This last month we have experienced an increase in diners. Each of these last four meals has averaged serving 200 meals. The two holiday meals in November and December usually have a larger attendance. We should close the year with over 18,000 meals served. We are quickly approaching a major goal of 20,000 meals, which may be accomplished by the end of the year. The need is great and seems to be getting larger. I am so thankful that NUMC is there to help fill this need. I am amazed daily at how God is working in and through this ministry.