If you pass by Railroad Park on a Friday afternoon you’ll find more than a grassy field and a children’s play area; a weekly community meal that is part homeless outreach and part community building. Wellness for Everyone (WE) began as a grassroots group in November 2015 when a woman asked a simple question in a Facebook group, could she bring a crock pot into Lithia Park and feed homeless people? Many people chimed in and Ana Witt donated $200 (her family budget for Thanksgiving) to rent Pioneer Hall. Dozens of people brought food and clothing and about 60 people enjoyed a feast. This was repeated in December and WE were on our way to feeding our community.
Now there are additional meals being served in our community and as the Friday meal in the park has grown, it has a new identity, Community Peace Meals.
What happens at a Friday Peace Meal? At 4 pm there is a listening circle facilitated by our friends from the Ashland Culture of Peace. During this time we share stories and insights about what we can do to bridge peace, By 5 pm, long tables are laden with potluck dishes, an abundance of delicious food which is largely donated by members of our community. Peace Meals are kind of piecemealed together and in the process there are opportunities for all of us to share something whether it be food, a story about our lives or a kind word.
Long tables (we have been borrowing four tables from the Ashland Emergency Food Bank and that’s been such a nice partnership, but we can see that as we are growing, it would be nice to have permanent tables of our own.) We need 4 of them.
Servers: We need 6-7 servers each week and as the summer rolls along, it would be good to get a short list of backup folks in case they are needed. We serve food from 5 pm until it’s gone, which is often approximately an hour.
Clean up crew: We need folks who are willing to help us pack everything up, walk around the park to ensure that we’re leaving it in pristine condition and cleaning that comes with that.
Potluck dishes (these can be hot or cold dishes. We use many crockpots and have access to power in the park, so we can keep crockpots warm.)
Cold drinks, frozen single serve bottled waters, ice tea, lemonade, juice, milk.
YOU– Come visit us and see what’s happening. It’s a beautiful, weekly example of love in action.
For more information, call 541-690-2807