Methodist Church “Soup Kitchen” Reopens to Serve Our Community

United Methodists Join Us for Lunch Programs serve healthy meals to those in need.

Food insecurity is a terrible thing to have to face, whether for just yourself, or for your family. In the United States, most would agree there is no excuse for it.

A number of local organizations in Inyo County, churches, IMACA, Civic Groups, community food banks, and the schools continue to step in to assure that no one goes hungry as the result of the pandemic.

Sierra Wave will continue to do our part, along with our colleagues in the local news media, to keep the public informed on where to get food assistance. If you know of any resource that we have not yet told the public about, please contact us so we can correct that situation. We believe “no one in our communities should every have to go hungry from a lack of resources.”

Following is information from the Bishop First United Methodist Church on the Reopening of the community Soup Kitchen:

A to-go bagged lunch is being distributed at Noon on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at the Bishop Unified Methodist Church.

After a several-month shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the “Join Us for Lunch” Soup Kitchen at the Bishop First United Methodist Church is once again open and serving our community. A to-go bagged lunch is being distributed at Noon on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at the church, located at 205 N. Fowler Street in Bishop. During the week of August 3rd, the program provided 70 lunches to its guests, a number that is expected to increase significantly given the ongoing nature of the pandemic’s economic impacts and as news of the welcomed reopening spreads.

As Soup Kitchen Director John Camphouse explains, “The Soup Kitchen’s renewed operation is being guided by a careful Reopening Plan which outlines health and safety practices to safeguard program volunteers and guests alike. In this time of necessary physical distancing, the church buildings will not be open for its guests. Regrettably, this means that guests will not have access to bathrooms or showers.”

The plan also requires that every volunteer wear a proper face covering and an apron, wash their hands frequently, and use disposable gloves as directed by the State of California for food handlers. As the Reopening Plan states, such “frequent hand washing with soap and water, including scrubbing with soap for 20 seconds is an important step in limiting the transfer of the COVID-19 virus.” Kitchen volunteers will be maintaining proper physical distancing of at least six feet (6’) as much as possible while preparing and distributing meals.

To receive lunch, all guests are also being required to wear masks when they are on the church grounds. As Soup Kitchen volunteer coordinator Roberta Cummings reports, “Thanks to the generosity of many caring individuals, the church has additional masks available for any guest who does not have one.” The church walkways leading to and from the lunch distribution table – located at the south entrance of the church’s Methodist Center – have been clearly marked with green tape to assist guests in maintaining proper physical distancing. Guests are to approach the serving table from the east (Fowler Street) and exit to the south (Church Street). A sandwich board in front of the church is listing the day’s menu for all to see.

The “Join Us for Lunch” Soup Kitchen provided its first meals on June 7, 2007 and initially served between 8 and 15 people two days a week. The program grew and a third day was subsequently added. When the Soup Kitchen paused operations on March 18, some 45 -75 guests were being served each day inside the church’s Methodist Center building. Immediately after the program was suspended, the Salvation Army commenced providing to-go lunches; that lunch program recently ended.

As Pastor David Camphouse explained, “While the Bishop United Methodist Church founded this meal program, it has received regular financial support from local foundations, service clubs, churches, and individuals and has been supported by dedicated volunteers from many local churches, agencies, and service clubs. That community support has been essential and is still very much needed.”

Soup Kitchen guests regularly express their appreciation for good, nutritious meals. Several have stated that the money they have saved has enabled them to catch up with their bills for the first time in many months. For others, the lunch may be their only meal of the day if not their only meal for a couple of days.The economic impacts of the pandemic have impacted the lives of many individuals and families in our area and the need for food assistance is unfortunately likely to grow.

“Join Us For Lunch” is a program of the United Methodist Social Services (UMSS), a 501(c)3 non-profit foundation created by the congregation of  Bishop First United Methodist Church to expand and support services to our local community. UMSS receives no government funding and is thankful for all of the groups, foundations, and individuals that make it possible to provide vital services to our community.

The community is encouraged to donate in support of the Soup Kitchen by sending a check made out to UMSS with Soup Kitchen in the memo line to the Bishop First United Methodist Church office at 205 N. Fowler Street, Bishop, CA 93514. Online donations can be made via the church’s website at https://www.bishopumc.org/about/support-your-church/. Click on the blue “Give with Online Giving” box and select the “UMSS & Soup Kitchen” option to contribute. If you would like more information about UMSS programs or current opportunities to contribute to the Soup Kitchen, please contact the church office (760) 872-7701.

Following a several-month shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the “Join Us for Lunch” Soup Kitchen at the Bishop First United Methodist Church is once again open and serving our community. A to-go bagged lunch is being distributed at Noon on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at the church, located at 205 N. Fowler Street in Bishop. During the week of August 3rd, the program provided 70 lunches to its guests, a number that is expected to increase significantly given the ongoing nature of the pandemic’s economic impacts and as news of the welcomed reopening spreads.

As Soup Kitchen Director John Camphouse explains, “The Soup Kitchen’s renewed operation is being guided by a careful Reopening Plan which outlines health and safety practices to safeguard program volunteers and guests alike. In this time of necessary physical distancing, the church buildings will not be open for its guests. Regrettably, this means that guests will not have access to bathrooms or showers.”

The plan also requires that every volunteer wear a proper face covering and an apron, wash their hands frequently, and use disposable gloves as directed by the State of California for food handlers. As the Reopening Plan states, such “frequent hand washing with soap and water, including scrubbing with soap for 20 seconds is an important step in limiting the transfer of the COVID-19 virus.” Kitchen volunteers will be maintaining proper physical distancing of at least six feet (6’) as much as possible while preparing and distributing meals.

To receive lunch, all guests are also being required to wear masks when they are on the church grounds. As Soup Kitchen volunteer coordinator Roberta Cummings reports, “Thanks to the generosity of many caring individuals, the church has additional masks available for any guest who does not have one.” The church walkways leading to and from the lunch distribution table – located at the south entrance of the church’s Methodist Center – have been clearly marked with green tape to assist guests in maintaining proper physical distancing. Guests are to approach the serving table from the east (Fowler Street) and exit to the south (Church Street). A sandwich board in front of the church is listing the day’s menu for all to see.

The “Join Us for Lunch” Soup Kitchen provided its first meals on June 7, 2007 and initially served between 8 and 15 people two days a week. The program grew and a third day was subsequently added. When the Soup Kitchen paused operations on March 18, some 45 -75 guests were being served each day inside the church’s Methodist Center building. Immediately after the program was suspended, the Salvation Army commenced providing to-go lunches; that lunch program recently ended.

As Pastor David Camphouse explained, “While the Bishop United Methodist Church founded this meal program, it has received regular financial support from local foundations, service clubs, churches, and individuals and has been supported by dedicated volunteers from many local churches, agencies, and service clubs. That community support has been essential and is still very much needed.”

Soup Kitchen guests regularly express their appreciation for good, nutritious meals. Several have stated that the money they have saved has enabled them to catch up with their bills for the first time in many months. For others, the lunch may be their only meal of the day if not their only meal for a couple of days.The economic impacts of the pandemic have impacted the lives of many individuals and families in our area and the need for food assistance is unfortunately likely to grow.

“Join Us For Lunch” is a program of the United Methodist Social Services (UMSS), a 501(c)3 non-profit foundation created by the congregation of  Bishop First United Methodist Church to expand and support services to our local community. UMSS receives no government funding and is thankful for all of the groups, foundations, and individuals that make it possible to provide vital services to our community.

The community is encouraged to donate in support of the Soup Kitchen by sending a check made out to UMSS with Soup Kitchen in the memo line to the Bishop First United Methodist Church office at 205 N. Fowler Street, Bishop, CA 93514. Online donations can be made via the church’s website at https://www.bishopumc.org/about/support-your-church/. Click on the blue “Give with Online Giving” box and select the “UMSS & Soup Kitchen” option to contribute. If you would like more information about UMSS programs or current opportunities to contribute to the Soup Kitchen, please contact the church office (760) 872-7701.

 

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One Response to Methodist Church “Soup Kitchen” Reopens to Serve Our Community

  1. Dennis Smith August 17, 2020 at 1:44 am #

    What a wonderful program. Inyo County does care for our citizens. Way to go!

    Wear your mask, stay 6 feet apart
    Stay well and healthy.

    Be a patriot.
    We can do this!!

     

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