by Lois Beck
A blog entry in response to our “A Year at the Table” series.
January 8, 2020
Our pastor invites us to communion: “This isn’t the table of the Mennonite Church; it isn’t Raleigh Mennonite’s table. It is Jesus’ table, and he invites all of us.” The piece of bread and a sip from the cup nourishes us to serve others, such as the food co-op at the Parkview Manor Senior Center, aptly named The Neighborhood Network. Our money helps them supplement their limited food resources with food from the Regional Food Bank every two weeks. The relationships we have with them are priceless.
The Society of St. Andrews Gleaning Organization extends our table giving us opportunity to glean in the fields of Wake County and neighboring counties. The farmers’ produce that can’t be sold is gleaned, harvested and delivered to Neighborhood Network, Urban Ministries Food Pantry and other places where food is scarce.
Christ’s table expands its reach. Food-4-Thought, a volunteer group, rescues food each weekend from Trader Joe’s and distributes fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and bread to about 90 households. The rescued fresh meat is shared with The Neighborhood Network. Christ’s table is abundant. Food-4-Thought uses our kitchen, refrigerators and freezer to store food.
Raleigh Mennonite’s financial gifts helped provide a week’s supply of groceries for 8,000 household’s from the Client Choice Food Pantry at Urban Ministries of Wake County. Additional food referrals are made to Catholic Charities.
Our local bakery, Yellow Dog Bread Company, shares their unsold items at the end of each day rather than throw them in the dumpster. We pick them up after hours and their abundance is shared with Urban Ministries Food Pantry, Love Wins Community Engagement Center, Neighborhood Network and Food-4-Thought.
Our little table expands to be part of the miracle of food in the city of Raleigh. The hungry and thirsty are welcome at Christ’s table.