In a note to Pastor Beth Birkholz, Director of Congregational Engagement at Samaritas, Service Coordinator Lisa shared the following:
Thank you for arranging for the Fed Up food truck to be at Sequoia Place on Valentine’s day. Our residents really enjoyed it! I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews and wanted to let you know how much our residents appreciated it. It was so nice for them to have a reason to gather outside (even for a few minutes) after the months of lockdown and limited access to their neighbors.
When I pulled into the parking lot at Samaritas Affordable Living at Sequoia Place, there was a flock of people spread out near the entrance. People of all ages and appearances were shepherded out of the way by Pastor Elizabeth Friedman so I could drive past to park. As I stepped out of my car, I was surprised at how mild the weather was for a February day, it was almost balmy. Perfect weather to gather safely outside and share good food. I walked over to two minivans where lunch wraps were being distributed. There were many familiar faces, and many unfamiliar. A woman in a bright mask that I hadn't met before welcomed me and asked if I wanted a meal. She took me to Pastor Sarah Freudenburg who got me set up with bagged lunches to take home to the kids. While selecting my beverages, I overheard a grandfather consoling his grandson who had been hoping for a less healthy snack.
After stowing my lunch bags in my trunk, I returned to the joyful throng -- I could tell folks were so happy to be outdoors, doing good together. A young woman walked by, headed to the entrance, and we invited her to grab lunch. "I'm just here to visit my mom," she said. "Take lunch up to your mom," we suggested. She stopped and smiled and nodded, coming over to see what we were offering.
A resident with a dark scarf wrapped around her head cautiously approached me. "What is going on here?" she asked in a thick accent.
"We are starting a new ministry to bring healthy prepared food to people right where they are. Would you like lunch? We have several to choose from, and you can pay whatever you can."
Her perfectly drawn eyebrows raised in disbelief, "Really?" she asked.
"Please have one, we want them to be eaten," I assured her. She walked over to investigate further.
I took the opportunity to get to know Pastor Anna's wife, Monique, a little more. Their youngest, Ezra, informed me that pink is his favorite color and I told him about the pink Jesus in the youth room. And I met some new folks there too, excited about getting this ministry off the ground.
A bit later a woman in a long, puffy down coat came out of the entrance with her walker. "What a fabulous coat!" I said, "That will keep you warm in any weather."
"Isn't it wonderful?" she replied. "My daughter bought it for me."
"She sounds like a keeper," I said. "Why don't you take a lunch to her?"
"She already brought one up to me, it was delicious!" she said.
I was eager to check out the lunch myself. After I returned home, we opened the bags to find several healthy items. I had only expected a sandwich and was surprised to discover a container of fresh mixed berries and another with crunchy coleslaw in vinaigrette. The wraps were delicious, filled with ham and crispy vegetables. Instead of mayonnaise, the juicy carrots and cucumbers provided a counterpoint to the tender wrap. Once we had eaten, my kids rooted around in each bag to make sure they hadn't missed any other tasty morsels. "Wow" I thought to myself. "That meal was really good! I should have paid more for it." Thank you to everyone who made the FedUp kickoff happen. You nourished more than just the body.