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Nutfield News • February 10, 2011 Interfaith Campus Marks Year of Free Community Dinners


——◆—––– Elijah’s Table began one

year ago, and it has lived up to the goals and expectations of its Etz Hayim Synagogue and Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration coordina- tors.

The cooperative out-

reach effort, offered to fill a need brought about by the difficult economy, has pro- vided assistance and hope to seniors, persons of all ages in need of something to eat, and residents seeking fel- lowship and social interac- tion.

The Interfaith Campus that is home to Etz Hayim and Transfiguration pooled its volunteer resources to offer free community meals two days each month - Etz Hayim on the third Sunday and Transfiguration on the second Sunday of each month. The next free meal at Transfiguration will be Sunday, Feb. 13, and the next Etz Hayim meal is Sunday, Feb. 20, both from 5 to 6:30 p.m. This cooperative effort

to reach out and support the local community by the two congregations is typical of their longstanding relation- ship of working together. Jay Madnick said Etz

Hayim, which has a small kitchen, decided to cater its meal, and alternates Egg- plant Parmigiana and Las- agna. He said with a hint of pride that he has heard many times the eggplant parm is the best ever.

Robert Brown said

Transfiguration settled on ham and bean dinners. He said with a smile that the church freezer is filled with hams because whenever there’s a special, members quickly snap them up. Both dinners are free and

open to anyone in the com- munity seeking a hot meal. “We average between 50 and 60 guests at each meal,” Brown said, and Madnick added, “We are averaging between 60 and 80 at the Etz Hayim dinners.” The volunteers from the

two congregations work both meals if possible. They see seniors and members of their own congregations in

attendance, but both dinners draw a large number of oth- ers from the community. “We are hoping to have

more families respond,” Brown said.

“This is really all about

families, and we want to encourage families to come and take part in these din- ners,” Madnick said. “They are free and open to every- one.”

“We want to provide a hot meal to those who need a meal or to those families

who could use a free meal,” Brown said. “If a family can come and make a donation, that’s great, but it isn’t required because this is a free service provided to the community.” Margaret Mackie-Cia- ncio said the dinners offer an opportunity for social inter- action that is wonderful for seniors and those living alone, but is something everyone needs. Families are encouraged to attend both dinners to help their

Serving Up Caring

budget or just to have a pleasant social evening with a hot meal. Brown and Madnick said

they have heard many com- ments over the year from guests who welcome the dinners. They said they had heard such comments as “this is my breakfast, lunch and dinner,” or “without this dinner, I’d be eating out of a can.”

“It is gratifying to see such positive acceptance and feedback on these din-

ners from the community,” Brown said.

Mimi Cagle added that

breakfast served at Trans- figuration from 9 to 10:30 a.m. between the services on the first and third Sunday of the month in Ellen’s Kitchen at the church is also open to the public, and she encour- aged anyone interested to stop by and enjoy the fel- lowship.

The interfaith campus is at the corner of Hood Road and East Broadway.

Community Caregivers of Greater Derry’s sixth annual Potter’s Bowl, held Friday evening at Promises to Keep in Derry, served up soup, bread and desserts donated by local restaurants to a packed house and raised just under $7,000 through ticket sales and an auction, according to Executive Director Cindee Tanuma. About 75 percent of the people in attendance were regulars, she said. Tanuma said the organization was grateful to Promises to Keep President John Oudheusden, who made a batch of his grandmother’s Veal Hungarian Goulash, for offering the facility for the fundraiser. At left, Red Star Twirlers staff the display of bowls made by Pinkerton Academy students. Top right, Tate Cooper, left, and Margie Ives are served soup by John Moody. Bottom right, volunteer Debbie Field, left, serves soup to Lucy Rhodes. Photo by Chris Paul

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