Bethel Lutheran Church of Rolling Meadows hosted a special Valentine's Luncheon for its food pantry clients on Saturday, Feb. 15.
"For Christians, feeding people is about more than making sure they are not hungry, thought that is very important. It is also about tasting the goodness of God with other people," explained Pastor David Heim.
"That's what we wanted to do with the event -- to sit down with the people who visit our food pantry, share a meal, and get to know one another a little."
Valentine-themed decorations of red tablecloths and red carnation bouquets on the tables greeted the pantry's clients. Bethel's Sunday school children made Valentine cards for every person. Chocolates at each place setting were donated by Deli Direct of Lake Zurich. Entertainment was provided by a guitar player. Additionally, a raffle for three gift baskets added to the festivities.
Sloppy Joes, a variety of homemade salads and desserts were served by some of Bethel's members. After all the clients were served, the members joined with them for lunch.
Celebrating its third anniversary, Bethel's food pantry serves those living in Rolling Meadows, Palatine and Arlington Heights. The church's outreach has become a community project with volunteers and donations from the community joining with church members.
"It's not uncommon that during the week, bags of groceries or cash donations show up at church," said Laura Lumb, Bethel member and regular food pantry volunteer.
For example, this was the second year that "Lights on Magnolia", a music and Christmas light show on Magnolia Street in Rolling Meadows, collected money and food donations which were given to Bethel for the food pantry outreach ministry.
With the success of this luncheon, plans are being made to have another gathering, this time for breakfast. Families, adults and children, will once again be able to break bread together.
"This was a good day for Bethel Lutheran Church, our food pantry and our clients," Lumb said.
For information about Bethel's food pantry, call Cindy Williams at (847) 397-4372.