Finding the light in lunch

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Combining culinary talents seems to work best for the Light Lunch program.

In six years, close to 10,000 meals have been served to individuals and families out of St. Luke's Episcopal Church.

The church partners with Dungeness Community Church, Dungeness Valley Lutheran Church, Sequim Community Church and Trinity United Methodist Church, rotating the planning and cooking of a hot lunch each Saturday.

"We feed anybody who comes in," organizer Kara Selby said.

"It's always a fresh, hot meal and a brown bag lunch for Sunday."

Light Lunch serves 30-40 people each week.

Candy Fitch, a volunteer from Sequim Community Church, said a lot more families attend now.

"I recently met a family deciding between rent and food for the month," Fitch said.

Selby said attendance depends on the time of the month, but the luncheon always happens even on a holiday.

"This year Christmas falls on a Saturday, so we're planning a big blowout dinner with Santa Claus," she said.

Feeding the weekend

The luncheons were started after it became clear there was a need to serve people on weekends.

Selby said the Salvation Army serves food Monday-Friday and volunteers wanted something for people to eat on Saturday and Sunday.

"We found a lot of people weren't eating anything on the weekends," Selby said. "Still, this is the only meal some of them eat."

Meals customarily are "comfort food," with each church deciding its week's menu, such as a starch, salad, etc.

"All we ask is that the food be hot," Selby said. "We feed them 'til we run out of food, too."

The churches also give a bag lunch for each attendee so that they'll have at least one meal on Sunday.

Each bag includes sealed food such as tuna, crackers, applesauce, cheese, cookies and water.

Toiletries like soap and toothbrushes are available, too.

A local family stuffs the brown bags each week as a community service.

Four Saturdays a year the church's hall is used for other events; those days volunteers give coupons to attendees to Curbside Bistro at The Home Depot where they'll receive a hot dog and chips and a paper bag meal.

Volunteers estimate expenditures at about $75 a week for the hot meals and $50 for the sack lunches.

Barb Brubaker, accountant for Light Lunch, said the churches consistently have funded the luncheon.

Bell Street Bakery and other local businesses donate bread and pastries.

A group from Port Angeles rides Clallam Transit buses each week for the meal. The churches pay for bus tickets to ride back.

Care Closet

About one year ago, volunteers found lunch attendees in need of clothing.

Helga Fauteaux, Care Closet organizer, said people were showing up without jackets and socks and something needed to be done. The churches, the Sequim Senior Activity Center, Voices for Veterans and other groups donate clothes. Fauteaux said they consistently need children's clothing.

Light Lunch is advertised through the Sequim Food Bank.

Selby said they are trying to reach more veterans and seniors through the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Elks Clubs and the Clallam County Veterans Center in Port Angeles.

For more information, call St. Luke's at 683-4862.


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