Waukon Community Meals to get underway with first meal September 29

What began with a single conversation, then led to an idea, which ultimately resulted in phone calls being made and more conversations taking place. From those initial conversations and ideas has now come the birth of free community meals in Waukon.
Over the past several months, a core group of clergy and interested community people have been meeting to discuss just what Waukon Community Meals might look like. The idea of free, no-strings-attached community meals isn't a new one. Manchester, Decorah, Farley and Calmar are a few communities in the area already hosting free community meals.
The first of the Waukon Community Meals will be held in the First Presbyterian Church's fellowship hall located at 204 West Main Street Monday, September 29 from 5-7 p.m. Zion United Church of Christ will be providing the food for the meal. All those who work the meals will be invited to eat the meals as well.
When looking at locations for these free community meals, it became obvious that churches offered the best locations, facilities and amenities to serve large groups. These locations tend to have plenty of dishes, glasses and silverware to use. First Presbyterian has committed to be the host church for at least the first six months of these free meals. Other churches and community organizations/businesses will be asked to help provide the food or other types of assistance.
By casting a wide net for participation, no one group asked to provide food would be called upon more than once every two or three years. Currently, evening meals are planned for the last Monday of each month from 5-7 p.m.

FREE FOR EVERYONE
Organizers of the Waukon Community Meals want it understood that these meals are truly open and free to everyone in the Waukon community at large. Everyone is welcome to be a guest and enjoy the meal. There will be no donation basket to fill, no tickets needed, no identification required, no age limit, no strings attached. Students are welcome to come in after practice or before evening events.
It is hoped that through these meals, friendships will be made or strengthened, ideas exchanged and opportunities discovered. There will be a "Waukon Connects" bulletin board where people could post needs for items or they could post whatever extra items they have and no longer use or want. There will also be a place to pick up stamped and addressed envelopes so anyone can write their Congressman or Congresswoman and air their views. There may also be opportunities for music to be provided. Those in need are invited to watch for information about possible Community Meals transportation to and from the north and south ends of town.
For the first year, the Waukon Community Meals is very grateful to be able to come under the wing of the Waukon Economic Development's non-profit status so that any donations to the community meals can be tax deductible. There will be free memberships available for non-profits and churches in exchange for workers and/or meals and three levels of sponsorships available for businesses and for-profit entities wishing to help defray some of the costs or provide in-kind donations. Membership groups and sponsorship businesses will receive recognition at each of the meals.
For further information about Waukon Community Meals, call Fr. Jim Dubert at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Waukon, Rev. Grant VanderVelden at First Presbyterian in Waukon, Pastor Kim Gates of St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Waukon, Pastor Samantha Houser of Zion United Church of Christ in Waukon, Pastor Lynn Groe of St. John's Lutheran Church in Waukon, Steve and Robin Oden at their home phone, Pat Bresnahan at his home phone or Karen Carlton at her home phone. All of those telephone numbers are listed in the phone book and/or on-line.
 

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