July 24, 2014
By Lenny C. Lepola
Community Open Table, an outreach of Sunbury United Methodist Church, is typically held on the first Friday of every month when members of the church and other volunteers host a dinner for anyone who is struggling with poverty that needs a hot, nutritious meal.
The August 1 COT will be held in the SUMC Fellowship Hall Dining Room. Fellowship and appetizers are at 5 p.m. with dinner served at 5:30. Dinner is typically over at 7 p.m.
The August menu features Burgers and Fixin’s, corn on the cob, cole slaw, fresh fruit and sherbet.
Church and community volunteers serve the homemade meal and there are always toys and games for children. The meal is free and no reservations are needed. Just be there at 5 p.m. and enter the church through the lower level.
“Community Open Table is not only about a free, nutritious dinner; it’s also about bringing people together to break the cycle of loneliness,” said one of the COT organizers, Pam Hammers. “The people that we have brought together month after month are typically there for the friendship and fellowship as much as for the food.”
Now in its third year, COT is serving up to 150 people needing a nutritious meal and fellowship each month, including 40 take-out meals delivered to seniors and shut-ins at Sunbury Park and Rainbow Place Apartments.
“We’ve partnered with church friends and community groups for serving and cleanup, such as various Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops and The Alternative Center for disabled adults,” Hammers said. “But we still need help. We’ve been self-funded for three years, but we need food and money donations to continue to serve our increasing number of guests.”
Hammers said if anyone in the community seeks fellowship over a meal, they are welcome to sit down at COT.
For more information about Community Open Table, to volunteer, to donate fresh food or to make a monetary donation to this local outreach effort, contact Sunbury United Methodist Church at 740-965-3813.
Sunbury United Methodist Church is located at 100 West Cherry Street in Sunbury, at the northeast quadrant of the State Route 37 and US 3 intersection, across the street from the CVS Pharmacy.