Celebrating a Major Milestone~

February 20, 2019 ~ From Cherry Arbuckle Hoffman:  


"WE DID IT!!!!! Last night our  Wednesday Night Community Dinner served their 200,000 free meal at the  First Christian Church in Silverton, OR. In fact our grand total after  all was said and done was 200,300 dinners.  Our group of volunteers  are the best. They start coming in somewhere around 9:00 AM to prep  food, unload boxes and move things wherever things need to be moved.  Then they keep coming through our doors all day long to finish up the  cooking, fine tune the deliveries, and  take care of any problems. Next are the servers and the ones who will  pick up dirty dishes and others who get them ready for the dishwasher.  On top of that, part of our cooks stay in the kitchen making sure  everything runs smoothly and keeps things clean. And don't forget who is  out on the floor meeting, greeting, and hugging anyone who comes  through our doors and also we oversee those who are doing community  service which includes Seminarians from Mt. Angel Abbey. And EMT or  Paramedic students from Chemeketa Community College. Talk about "it  takes a village" and our village is amazing!!!!"  


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February 20th marks the Wednesday Night Dinner that we will have served over 200,000 free meals to our community.


When  we started this program over 10 years ago, we never imagined where it  would go.  Our plan was a spaghetti dinner every Wednesday for about a  month during the recession to help give a boost to those who were out of  work.  We also focused on a few high school students who had been  staying in cars or on friend's couches.  Thus, the term "couch surfing".

Our  first meal was on the second Wednesday of November 2008, and then, God  took over.  We grew from 37 or so our first week to now serving between  300 and 500 each Wednesday night. 

What  started out as a church project rapidly turned into a community run  function.  The volunteers came pouring in to help. St. Paul's Catholic  Church stepped up with monetary support and manpower, serving and  cleaning up every first Wednesday of each month.  The Friends Church  walked in and said they would take the third Wednesday and the church up  at Marcum comes in every time we have a fifth Wednesday.  Then we  started seeing many more volunteers from our community who did or did  not belong to a church.


The  Oak Street Church began their free community dinner around the same  time and serves every Monday night. The food is so good and is one more  place that people can go for a meal and company.


And, in the last few years, Trinity Lutheran started serving a free lunch each Saturday.


So, First Christian Church, Silverton, Oregon  I personally want to thank you for opening your doors to a very  important and welcome event where we have been able not only to feed  with food, but, also to be a pioneer in a program that is being studied  and talked about throughout our state.  What you have allowed has been  the beginning of what a wonderful, caring town can do to help not only  people in financial need, but it has become a meeting place for all  walks of life.


We  can still use volunteers if anyone feels like they would like to help  in a very worthy program.  And if you just want to see what we are about  please, please come have dinner with us and sit with others from our  town and visit.  I cannot begin to count how many lasting friendships  have developed from just sitting and breaking bread together.


Cherry Hoffman

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Outreach and Events

  • Wednesday Free Community Dinner (truly a "Community Dinner" - averaging over 350 meals each week; nearing 190,000 total meals served).  FREE - with donations accepted.  One of the partners is Marion/Polk FoodShare. Multiple/ecumenical churches and other volunteer programs assist.
  • Apple Tree School Supplies
  • Disciples Mission Fund
  • El Faro Orphanage and Mission to Mexico
  • E-Mail Prayer Team (church-wide; contact the office to be included or have a prayer request shared)
  • Fedice' Ecuador Mission
  • FCC Scholarship for Seniors (application deadline May 4)
  • Northwest Christian University (Eugene, Oregon)
  • Prayer Shawl and Quilt Ministries
  • Week of Compassion
  • Partnering with "Silverton Together" with the Coats for Kids Drive (October)
  • SCAN-TV (Channel 15/WAVE) - Sunday morning services are shared.  Check programming at www.scan-tv.org

Wednesday Community Dinners began in November 2008 ...