By Bethany J. Royer
PIQUA — After a rough winter — still hanging on by the proverbial thread as evident by a brisk Wednesday morning — Cindy Ward wants to get the word out on the United Pentecostal Church’s monthly soup kitchen, and also seeking donations so as to feed as many as 40 individuals who participate.
“I like to feed people,” said Ward who not only prepares the food but also contributes a significant portion of it for the soup kitchen, with the aid of church volunteers including Sister Virginia who provides two to three cakes.
The idea of a soup kitchen had been on Ward’s mind for a number of years, she explained in the empty sanctuary of the United Pentecostal. When she received the church’s blessing to open their doors to the needy nearly a year ago she picked the last Saturday of the month due to, “So many people are on limited incomes, and they wait on that check, it’s probably a bad weekend for them.”
However, it is more than just the provision of meals to those in need, it is the memories of dinners past that makes for some significance to Ward.
“When the kids were little, that was our time of day,” said Ward, mother of three now grown daughters and grandchildren, who also attend the church that sits on the corner of West Ash and College Street, sharing family dinner stories with a smile. “Sitting around the table listening to the kids, how their day went.”
For Ward, the monthly meal at the church provides an opportunity to revisit those years by sitting down and talking with attendees, and just like family hear about their day, their stories.
“Some of those who come in,” continued Ward with a mix of emotions on her face for the great need for old and young alike in the community. The United Pentecostal Church members also contribute time and effort towards packing bags of food for area students to take home over the weekend as part of their Munch Bunch program. “You know they don’t have anything.”
This month’s soup kitchen menu will include hot dogs, potato salad and baked beans and will be held from noon to 2 p.m., Saturday, April 26, at United Pentecostal Church at 651 W. Ash St.
If any business would like to contribute towards the soup kitchen, however they are able, Ward says, “We’d appreciate the help. I’ll put it to use.”
Ward hopes enough contributions will allow for care packages to be sent home with attendees, too.
Bethany J. Royer may be reached at (937) 773-2721 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall