Cape May County Herald - November 29, 2023
By Christopher South, Reporter
Church Serves 250 for Thanksgiving Through Feed A Family Program
By Christopher South
ERMA – The Seashore Community Church of the Nazarene has brought back a decade-long tradition of providing Thanksgiving meals to people in the community through its Feed A Family program.
Organizer Dee McNulty said the annual event suffered a delay with Covid restrictions, but 252 people were able to come back to the church on Sunday, Nov. 19, to gather the makings of a Thanksgiving feast.
McNulty said the visitors were able to meet with contact agencies that provide services in the county, such as Healthy Mothers/Healthy Babies, Caring for Kids and Families Matter. Then they were offered hot soup and snacks before they went into the meal distribution center.
“People were able to walk through and get fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, a turkey, pie … a complete Thanksgiving meal,” she said. “It’s a big community event, actually.”
McNulty said student athletes from Lower Cape May Regional High School helped carry items for guests. She said there were a couple of people delivering food, and Caring for Kids picked up meals for seven or eight people.
Local agencies provided a lot of help for the event. McNulty said the state Division of Child Protection and Permanency gave the church a list of names of families that could benefit from the program, and even picked up the items.
She said some of the food came from Seashore Community Church’s Gleaning Center, and there were private donations. Seashore had put out a call to other churches to let them know what was needed. Still, the church had to purchase some of the items.
McNulty said turkeys were purchased from Westside Market. Other food items were bought from Seashore Foods and Tony’s Produce. She said all three gave them good prices.
The Feed A Family program is one of the Compassionate Ministry programs at Seashore Community Church of the Nazarene. Compassionate Ministry Director Almond Weech said the Gleaning Center, which is the name of the church’s food pantry, is open every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to noon, all year long. It is also available to help in an emergency.
Weech said the ministry also operates a Soup for Seniors program in the winter. He said a number of seniors don’t want to ask for help, and they either do not have children, or their children live far away, or the seniors might have even outlived their children.
The church makes the program available to them and currently serves about 100 senior citizens over a broad section of the Cape May area. He said every other Saturday in the winter the church prepares and delivers hot soup to their doors.
Weech said the Soup for Seniors program will end for the year in the spring.
Contact the author, Christopher South, at email@example.com or 609-886-8600, ext. 128.
Christopher South is a reporter for the Cape May County Herald.