Community Meal

Jennifer Winston

Free meals are available in Waukegan/ North Chicago/Zion every day of the week. While multiple sites serve meals on Saturday (2 in Waukegan, 1 in North Chicago) and Wednesdays (2 Waukegan, 1 Zion), on the other days 1 meal is available. In Waukegan Christ Church hosts community meal on Sundays, St. Anastasia on Mondays, First United Methodist on Tuesdays, Shiloh Baptist on Wednesdays, and North Shore Church of Christ on Saturdays. Holy Family Ministry Center sponsors the meal 4 days per week.

 

Christ Church has been the host site for the Sunday Community Meal in Waukegan since the mid 1980’s. While the volunteers and menus have changed over time, the basic goal and format of community meal has remained the same. We provide a hot, nutritious meal to any person who comes during serving hours. Our hope is that through participating in Community Meal both volunteers and guests will build relationships, develop mutual respect, and increase understanding among the diverse members of our communities.

 

By and large the various community meals are funded and staffed completely by the hosting congregations. Christ Church is the only site that utilizes teams from other churches and organizations to host the meal. We have 9 teams, four of which are from Episcopal churches in our deanery: Trinity, Highland Park, St. Lawrence, Libertyville, St Gregory, Deerfield, and Holy Spirit, Lake Forest. The other teams are from Living Faith United Methodist, Waukegan, Immanuel Baptist, Gurnee, St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, Lake Forest and St. Mary’s Boy Scout Troup#140, Buffalo Grove..

 

Recent attendance at community meal has been anywhere from 47 to 83. The vast majority of guests are adults though we have seen increasing numbers of children in the last couple of years. Typically numbers are higher later in the month. Some of the guests are truly homeless. Most are low income and live in subsidized housing in the area. Many of the guests are regulars. Some have been participating in the program since its beginning. Some are one time participants who are passing through the area. Most are lifelong residents of Waukegan who are well known throughout the community.

 

The guests at community meal represent a good cross section of the face of poverty in the United States. There are guests with criminal records, guests with substance abuse problems, and guests suffering from chronic mental illness. Most have little to no access to quality health care. Even when they possess cooking skills, they typically lack facilities to prepare meals.

 
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Upcoming Events
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The Lord is Risen Indeed, Alleluia.
Community Meal
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