Marilla's Lunches:

If you like helping others while doing something that makes you feel good, lets you enjoy the camaraderie of working with volunteers from other faith communities, including an annual pot luck lunch for all volunteers, we have just the thing for you.

On the third Wednesday of each month January through April at 9:30am, volunteers from Third Haven join other faith communities at Asbury Methodist Church on Higgins Street in Easton to prepare and deliver lunches to people in need. From May through December, on the third Wednesday, the lunches are prepared at and delivered from the Third Haven common room.

These lunches are part of the Talbot Interfaith Coalition Against Hunger and originated from the winter soup kitchen that Asbury Methodist has provided for many years. About 13 years ago, the Pastor at Asbury asked, "Why can't we provide these lunches all year?" And so began the expansion to a full year of delivery of lunches to those in need. In addition to Marilla's lunches, the Coalition also delivers a traditional Thanksgiving meal on Thanksgiving Day and delivers lunches every weekday to the Ridgeway House Shelter on Aurora Street, which is run by the Neighborhood Service Center.

The Wednesday lunches are called "Marilla's Lunches" in honor of Marilla McCarthy a former member of Third Haven who worked to get them started and provided the list of faith communities interested in participating in this endeavor. The number of recipients has tripled from the 30 to 35 people that Asbury's soup kitchen typically served, to a current list of 100 people. In the winter, Asbury continues to provide the soup for the lunch. For the remainder of the year the other faith communities provide the ingredients and prepare sandwiches, fruit and dessert for the delivered bag lunch. Asbury receives subsidies for the soup ingredients from AARP and St. Mark's; however their efforts are enormous. Third Haven teams up with Temple B'nai Israel and a team headed by a small interfaith group to prepare and deliver lunches on the third Wednesdays.

Other faith communities involved in this Coalition Against Hunger are: Talbot Bible Church, Christ Church of Easton, St. Marks UMC, UU Fellowship of Easton, Grace Lutheran, Episcopal Cathedral, St. Vincent de Paul Society, Easton Church of the Brethren, Temple B'nai Israel, and a small interfaith group. Referrals for delivery recipients come from Asbury, St. Marks, and Talbot Co. Health Dept. Ralph and Mary Young are currently the coordinators of the Talbot Interfaith Coalition Against Hunger. They maintain the delivery schedule and try to resolve any problems that arise. Please consider joining this effort to provide a lunch to those less fortunate.

Text written by Cynthia Quast and originally published in Third Haven's March 2012 newsletter. This page was edited with updated information on 12/1/16.

Third Haven Friends Monthly Meeting is a member of Southern Quarterly Meeting of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of Friends General Conference of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

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