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Volunteering

Over 500 Christmas meals served to Vicksburg community

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Christmas Meals
Left to right: Elijah Montgomery, Debbie Tate, Richard VanDenAkker, Terry Wong, Sutter Wong, Chuck Tate, Judy Ford, then Sue, Ryan, and Noah VanDenAkker. Not pictured Bob Ford, Wesley Storz, or Heather Tate. (Photo by Wesley Storz)

For 19 years in Vicksburg, the homeless, shut-in seniors or anyone who can’t cook or afford a Christmas dinner has had a hot meal delivered. The first year started with around 50 and this year has topped out with over 500.

It all started on a plane coming back from a mission trip in Mexico. Pastor Bob Ford, Judy Ford and Sue VanDenAkker started a conversation on feeding the hungry in Vicksburg. The conversation turned into giving the gift of not only a meal but the gift of knowing that people care.

Christmas Meals

Mr. Gene delivering food and socks. (Photo by Wesley Storz)

Beyond Walls Ministry, founded by Bob Ford, and the members at Porters Chapel Methodist and Hawkins Methodist Churches under the leadership of Sue VanDenAkker, have kept this going. It’s not just one person, but a community doing this. All the food is bought, cooked, served and delivered by the members of both churches.

All morning long, it was family after family dropping food off to be served and delivered. A menu of turkey, cornbread dressing with gravy, ham, green beans, sweet potatoes, rolls and peach cobbler and pie, all home cooked, was on offer.

Christmas Meals

Food being served. (Photo by Wesley Storz)

Lifting Lives Shelter, River City Rescue Mission, Haven House, Beautiful Deliverance and senior citizens at seven different senior housing facilities were served this year. Not to mention on-duty officers in our community who worked to keep us safe. Next year, if you know of anyone needing a meal let us know at either Porter’s Chapel or Hawkins Methodist Churches.

Big things can happen when a few people put ideas into action. Lives get touched and our community grows stronger. One meal on a day when no one wants to be alone is often the encouragement someone needs to make it into the next year. Giving at Christmas is the best way to say, Happy Birthday Jesus!

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