Fishes and Loaves: Casserole Meal Ministry
First Three Months
Update by Joan Carlisle
Our church began this casserole program in May 2021. For those who may not be familiar with this ministry, the mission of the program is to make “home-cooked” meals that can be distributed to families within and outside our congregation who may be in need of comfort, compassion, consolation, and care. Fishes and loaves offers a way for our church members to offer hospitality, fellowship, and service to members and non-members. Based on feedback, we believe it has been quite successful and has filled a need in our church and community. I wanted to update everyone about our program and the outcomes of our first three months.
Our first cook day was in May 2021, and we’ve had one each month. We have prepared Shepherd”s Pie, Penne Pasta with Meat Sauce, and Chicken with Wild Rice. For some meals, we have had frozen garlic bread and/or frozen mixed vegetables available in case “sides” were desired. Although each casserole is labeled as a “meal for 4,” we have found that most casseroles will feed a meal of 6 (or else have lots of leftovers). In these three months, we prepared 44 casseroles, and based on 6 servings per pan, we prepared 264 servings (176 servings based on 4/pan). The food costs of each serving have averaged less than $2.00 per serving. We have received two grants to assist with the cost of the program; $1500 from the Synod (church matches) and an individual member one for $250 from Thrivent.
We have served families who have experienced a death of a loved one, hospitalizations, surgery, illness, and times when “just a break” was needed. Comments from the feedback cards have included, “Delicious! Simple to heat and eat;” “What I enjoyed most was that all I had to do was heat it up…it had ingredients we love;” “We had been under tremendous stress…it was so amazing not to worry about dinner…such a Blessing.”
We invite all members to support us in prayer and join us if you wish for our casserole work day (men, women, and older children). The recipes are not hard and we work together as a team while enjoying fellowship with each other. Watch the newsletter for upcoming “cook dates” and let Sarah Beth in the office know if you can help us. We appreciate the support that our Church Council and congregation have given us in this ministry.
If you have additional questions, please contact Sarah Beth in the office, or me at email@example.com