• First United Methodist Church volunteers finish up their work on the garden after getting up at 8 a.m. Tuesday to look over the garden and harvest the food that is ready. The garden provides food for the Our Daily Bread program, the Graham senior citizens center, Graham Food Bank and the Friendship Meal. (Leader photo by Thomas Wallner)

Summer meal program fills gap with home cooking

The First United Methodist Church’s Our Daily Bread program has for six years provided free meals to anyone who wanted them, and the program moves into its seventh year Wednesday, July 5.

The program will run from July 5 through Aug. 11, Monday through Friday, starting at 11:30 a.m. in the FUMC McCree Hall in Graham. The program is open to all community members and the meal includes a free hot lunch and take-home sandwich supper.

Transportation can be arranged by calling the church’s office 24 hours in advance at 940-549-0970. Pre-registration (for an emergency contact in case of an allergic reaction during the meal) can also be done in advance at the church office .

Overview

The program started in 2010, according to Brownen Choate, who began it and still oversees its operations.

“It just started as a feeling that I had that we needed to provide for the kids in the summer because the school doesn’t provide lunches for everyone or anyone who wants it, except in the month of June,” she said. “So we tried to fill the gap from when that school program ended until they started school.”

Choate said their group figured attendance would soar if they allowed all attendees – children and adults – to eat for free, so they set up their program that way. The group also set no age requirement and required no government paperwork. Anyone can take part in the meal – it is not based on income at all.

Choate said getting people in the building is a reward in itself.

“For some people it is the only time they are in a church, which being a Christian, that is important to me,” she said. “Not that we have any organized religious service, but I think it just exposes them to a Christian atmosphere, which is really important to us.”

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The Graham Leader

GRAHAM OFFICE

620 Oak Street

P.O. Box 600

Graham, Texas 76450
Phone: (940) 549-7800

Fax: (940) 549-4364