New food program to help hurting Tecumseh families, individuals
By DEB WUETHRICH
God’s Bread Basket, a new Tecumseh nonprofit, is organizing a meal service designed to feed individuals and families within the community who could use a helping hand.
The first “Dinner’s On Us,” a pilot program, will provide a nutritious meal offered at the Church of Christ, 312 W. Chicago Blvd., on Thursday, July 16, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The group plans to serve free dinners every Thursday evening, and there are no age or income restrictions.
Roland von Kaler, who currently is serving as president of God’s Bread Basket, said that the effort is a collaboration between the Tecumseh Rotary Club, NewSong Church, Church of Christ, and other churches and individuals who have pulled together to offer a meal service in the Tecumseh community.
“We did quite a bit of investigating on how other soup kitchens are run,” von Kaler said. He said the group decided that an evening meal might be best because some people may still be working, but still face tough times in terms of providing food for themselves or their families, and the whole family, including children, could come to an evening meal.
“We also knew it had to be faith-based or else it would not work,” said von Kaler. “Experience has shown that if it is faith-based, you do not have to worry about volunteers or money.” He said the group already has 70 registered volunteers.
“The most difficult thing is getting the word out to those who might most benefit from this meal program,” said von Kaler. “We’re leaving flyers around, but there are so many people in need.” He said the group hopes that such individuals will be able to connect with the program, and noted that if the need is there, the program could expand to provide meals on other nights.
“There will be no pressure to go to church or a lecture for those who come,” said von Kaler. “There will just be a very simple prayer at the start of the meal.”
The group also is looking for donations of food and funds. von Kaler said that churches who might be wishing to take part could do so in a couple of ways. “If they have a certified kitchen they can prepare food and bring it to the site,” he said. Otherwise, the group accepts non-perishables, donations of disposable dining materials, and volunteer time. Funds also may be donated payable to God’s Bread Basket, P.O. Box 390, Tecumseh, MI 49286. For more information, contact Stephanie at 517-759-2155.