The United Methodist Church in Manchester has been offering a free supper every Monday evening called Second Helpings to individuals and families in need. The mission coordinator for the congregation, Tina Mead, says that around 160 people rely on the free meal every week. “All are welcome to sit at the table and enjoy supper with friends, family, and new faces from the community.”
Food and monetary donations have helped to sustain this ministry for the last ten years, including a Matthew 25 grant from the Northeast District, made possible by apportionment gifts from United Methodist churches throughout Iowa. Local groups are also encouraged to sign up to help serve the meals.
A summer ministry for children in poverty called Kids Lunch and Learn has developed from the church’s experience with Second Helpings. About 110 children have been served during the summer months in recent years each Tuesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Time is available both for learning activities and enjoying a nutritious meal.
These ministries have grown out of the congregation’s understanding of its mission as “a community of faithful believers in Christ committed to living the scriptures through loving service and giving to our community and the world.”