DINNER IS SERVED EVERY SUNDAY
FROM 5:00 PM UNTIL 6:30 PM
Trinity’s Table is a community outreach ministry of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, an ELCA congregation located on Charleston, West Virginia’s East End. Using a staff composed entirely of congregational and community volunteers, we provide a nutritious and balanced meal every Sunday evening to everyone who comes to our doors without fear of judgment.
We are proud to provide our guests a hot, balanced meal every Sunday, including meat, vegetables, and fruit. Recent menus have included spaghetti with meat sauce, salad, fruit (either fresh or canned), bread, and dessert; chicken and rice, green beans, carrots, fruit, bread, and dessert; beef tips over noodles, beans, corn, fruit, bread, and dessert.
We are proud of the community we have created at Trinity’s Table. We strive to feed our guests in both body and spirit. Every meal begins with a prayer led either by the pastor at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, or by one of our volunteers. Volunteers spend time getting to know our guests and building relationships with them. We have several trained social workers who volunteer to assist us in these efforts, as well as many caring “amateurs” who have helped us establish the loving, Christian environment that exists at Trinity’s Table.
Our church is centrally located within the East End and is easily accessible—we are close to most of the community outreach programs, within a block of the local bus line, and within walking distance for many of our guests. Our volunteers have been crucial to the success of Trinity’s Table—with no paid staff, we rely entirely on volunteers to serve an average of 500 hot meals every Sunday. We benefited greatly from the hunger awareness campaign led by our former Pastor the Rev. Ron Schlack. Through a series of Wednesday evening potluck suppers and discussions of the underlying causes of hunger in our local community, a large cadre of eager and willing volunteers has been established. This group includes many long-time members of the congregation, members new to our worship community, and residents of the local community, both young and old. All give freely of their time and talents, and according to their abilities. Many volunteers have expressed how much they have been personally rewarded through their service to Trinity’s Table. At one time or another, they have all expressed how much more they have received than they have given. Trinity’s Table has reenergized our congregation, has given many a meaningful outlet at which to donate their time, and has even attracted several unexpected volunteers. We all look forward to Trinity’s Table every Sunday, and enjoy making it happen.
Trinity’s Table is committed to serving quality, tasty meals to our guests while controlling costs as carefully as possible. We joined the Mountaineer Food Bank which has allowed us to purchase certain foods, like meat, at $0.19 per pound, and to receive some foods, like pastries, dairy products, and produce, for free. Because of our increased purchasing power at the Mountaineer Food Bank, we are able to serve meat-based meals every week. Additionally, we receive many donations from our congregation and from sources within our community. SpilmanThomas Law Firm and Sugar Pie Bakery donate desserts every week; Charleston Bread Company donates bread to us every week; T&M Meats, a local butcher, frequently donates meat and other foodstuffs, or lets us purchase them at or below wholesale prices; and produce vendors at The Capitol Market, our local farmers’ market, donate fresh vegetables during the growing season, or allow us to purchase them below retail prices. Members of our congregation and the local community donate food and money. We are incredibly blessed to have the unequivocal support of our congregation, of churches of other faiths and denominations, and of our local business community.
The needs of the food insecure in our local community are very great. The urgency of this need is clearly demonstrated through the steadily increasing number of meals we have served since Trinity’s Table began. From our inauspicious beginning on January 10, 2010, when we served only one meal, we have grown to an average census of 450 to 500 meals each Sunday. In the four years we have been in operation, we have served more than 50,000 meals.