A monthly community meal has been feeding hungry families since March, and building rapport among a host of area churches.
The meal ministry is operated in conjunction with the Saukville Community Food Pantry.
Free lunches are served from noon to 1 p.m. on the fourth Saturday of each month, at St. Peter’s United Church of Christ, 166 W. Dekora St.
The menus have included popular comfort foods like spaghetti, soup and sandwiches, and turkey and mashed potatoes. The meals are topped off by homemade desserts and coffee provided by the Java Dock in Port Washington.
Mark Gierach, executive director of the Food Pantry, said the meals have been drawing about 30 people each month.
Churches from Saukville, Port Washington and Grafton have sponsored the meals. About a dozen volunteers are needed to prepare and serve the food.
“The community has been very responsive,” Gierach said. “The meals have attracted a wide range of people, including the elderly, young single-parent families and even the homeless.”
The meals are open to any Ozaukee County resident, and no proof of income is required.
Upcoming community meals will be held on Saturdays, July 27, Aug. 24, Sept. 28, Oct. 26, Nov. 23 and Dec. 28.
Gierach said the popularity of the community meal program underlines the needs of people living in the community, a point that Food Pantry volunteers are reminded of on a regular basis.
“People are very good about donating food around the holidays, but the need continues throughout the year. There is actually a far greater need during the summer, when children aren’t getting free or reduced-cost meals at school,” he said.
Gierach said support for the pantry continues to grow since it was started two years ago.
“Awareness for something like this builds slowly, especially after we decided what money we take in should be spent on food and not publicity,” he said.
So far this year, Gierach said the pantry has served more than 160 local families.