Sunday Evening Meal Program – SEMP
In 1988 at a Lenten dinner and study program, a group of FPC members saw a film about a congregation in Philadelphia that offered meals to homeless people. Those present wondered why First Presbyterian couldn’t do the same. The Greene Square Meals program offered hot meals in the evening, Monday through Friday, but no meals were available on the weekends. The first meal at FPC was offered on November 6, 1988.Since then, the program has continued to grow. SEMP receives financial support from the Local Mission Budget, the Presbyterian Women through proceeds from the Thrift Shop, and the annual Hunger Offering and Linn County Emergency Food & Shelter grant money.
One or two people arrive at 2:00 to help our cook, Linda Willard, prepare the meal. Another group of eight to ten arrives at 4:00 to assist with last minute preparations. The meal is served from 4:30 until 5:30. Clean up is usually finished by 6:00.
Volunteers from our congregation and other churches, youth groups, and civic organizations help each Sunday.
Volunteers are always needed, so if you’d like to help, contact the office at 319-364-6148.