Community meals aim to feed hungry in the community

By BECKY HANDCommunity editorWHITLEY COUNTY — A new group is organizing meals for those down on their luck, by a new church which meets in the Ag Museum, “The Warehouse.”Called “The Forklift” the meals will be served from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Mondays at The Center for Whitley County Youth, 201 W. Market Street, Columbia City. “Jeff Wike has worked tremendously for us,” said organizer Hank Workman. They had to bring the kitchen up to Health Department standards which required quite a bit of renovation. But the work is done, inspection completed and they are ready to serve.Monday will be the first offering and Workman hopes to feed at least 100 the first meal and maybe a couple of hundred in the future.“We want to serve the community,” Workan said. “A free hot meal is a great way to help them out.”The meals are “for absolutely everybody,” he said and the group looks forward to a great start to their ministry on Monday. Other meals offeredCommunity Midweek Meal: The Midweek Meal celebrated Thanksgiving early, feeding about 120 Wednesday at the Columbia City United Methodist Church. Set for Wednesdays from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. the meals are prepared for anyone who wants to come and enjoy the food and fellowship. Organizer Jill Daniel says numbers have gone down recently, “And that’s a good thing.” She hopes it means the economy is improving, but it may also be due to the annual migration of the senior citizens to warmer quarters south.Hours will change to 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays beginning Dec. 1.Monday meal for rural Whitley County: The Etna United Methodist Church, 4255 W. 750 N., Columbia City, hosts free meals (carry-in optional) beginning at 6 p.m. Monday evenings at the church. A Bible Study and fellowship time will follow.“We have really good cooks,” says Elizabeth Reynolds, one of the organizers, and she hopes more will take advantage of the good food. While they may seem to be in competition with the Fork Lift meal on Mondays, they are looking to serve the rural community, while the Fork Lift is in town and hoping to serve the city folk.