April 27 marks five years of serving free spaghetti with a smile for the St. Charles Episcopal Church crew. From 5 to 7 p.m. on the last Sunday of the month, Two Guys and Free Spaghetti will provide a free homemade spaghetti and meatballs dinner with beverage, salad, garlic bread and homemade dessert to any and all who attend, just like they have done every month for the last 60 in a row.
Five years ago, parishioners Matt Rhead and Joe Ryan came up with an idea to offer a free meal to those in need, and it has been a great success. Since 2009, they have served 6,300 meals -- that's a lot of pasta and meatballs.
Guests come from all over the Fox Valley to enjoy the fellowship and great food. They are singles and seniors, and families of all sizes. A crew of more than 34 adults and children from the parish and local community consistently volunteer to serve the spaghetti dinner either by working as a server, baker, dishwasher, food prepper, accountant, setup or cleanup.
The high schools often provide volunteers, such as students from St. Charles East's National Honor Society, North's Key Club, and Foreign Exchange students. Also, Breadsmith and Butera Market donate baguettes and pasta each month. And when there are leftovers, Lazarus House benefits, too, with the overabundance donated to the residents there.
The efforts at St. Charles Episcopal Church inspired many other local churches and organizations to jump on board with their own free meals in the Fox Valley area, including Bethany Lutheran Church in Batavia, Fox Valley Presbyterian Church in Geneva, St. Mark's Lutheran Church in St. Charles, United Methodist Church of Geneva, Elburn Lions, and Burlington United Methodist Church.
The church is at 994 N. Fifth Ave., (Route 25) in St. Charles. Carryout is available, and the building is wheelchair-accessible. For information, call Joe Ryan at (630) 890-6586. Visit www.stcharlesepiscopal.org.