'Meals of Grace' provides food for needy
Every Tuesday and Thursday from 6 to 7 p.m., residents of Thomasville gather for a free meal hosted by Cooperative Community Ministry.
Last week was not business as usual, however, as members of CCM's Board of Directors washed up to serve "Meals of Grace" to underprivileged citizens. As part of the week leading up to Easter, Stephanie Strickland, executive director of CCM, said members came to a consensus on how to best show the community their support.
"It's sort of a giveback. This is Holy Week, so we [the Board] all agreed this is our way to share," Strickland said.
Bonnie Craig, president of the Board of Directors, was among the volunteers who traded business attire for oven mitts. She said the ministry has survived because of the support of churches and local partnering agencies, which have provided the resources necessary to conduct events like Meals of Grace.
"The one beautiful thing about Meals of Grace is that it is totally community supported," Craig said. "It's a very supportive Board. We put the agency first, and that's what it is. It's not about us; it's about the agency and the people we serve."
Strickland said conversations with clients have given her new perspective on the needs of many who are employed, but are not quite able to make ends meet.
"I had a lady come in recently who just wanted her prescription filled so she could get back to work," Strickland said. "She couldn't go back to work because she was in the food industry and she was sick. We're just filling a need.
"This kitchen was dedicated for Ronnie Sink, Aurelia Sink's husband, who did a lot of work here as an outreach to the community, for people who need a place to come in and have a hot meal."
The ministry began in 2005 at First Presbyterian Church in Thomasville under the leadership of former pastor Curtis Patterson. For more information about CCM, visit www.ccmtville.com.
Staff Writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 888-3575, or firstname.lastname@example.org.