Imagine hosting the biggest Thanksgiving meal ever, providing all the food for the biggest family imaginable. Every day. There’s the food preparation, then serving, then the cleanup. That’s how Lee Anne Peoples describes the operation at ACTS – the executive director said it takes dozens of volunteers to provide the hot meals five days a week for area residents.
It takes volunteers – and money – to feed sometimes as many as 200 people each day, Peoples told John C. Rose Tuesday on Town Talk.
Area Christians Together in Service is sponsoring a fundraiser on Sept. 25 at McGregor Hall that Peoples said will serve the dual purposes of raising money for ACTS as well as providing entertainment for the community.
“Make a Joyful Noise Unto the Lord” is set for Saturday, Sept. 25 at McGregor Hall and will feature local talent for an evening of inspirational entertainment for the whole family.
The doors open at 6 p.m. and the performance begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 and children 12 years and under get in free.
Tickets are available from any ACTS board member or from the ACTS office at 201 S. William St. Tickets also are available at the door.
Anyone interested in performing for the concert can contact Peoples for details at 252.492.8231 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are several sponsorship levels that businesses or individuals can purchase, she said, adding that the community has long been supportive of ACTS and the work it does to feed hungry people. Sponsor levels are platinum ($1,000), gold ($500) and silver ($250) and include ads in the concert program.
In 2020, Peoples said ACTS served 25,527 meals. She’s done the math for 2021 and if the numbers continue as they are now, 2021 will top 30,000. In a city with a population of about 15,000, that’s a lot of meals, she noted. “I’m surprised at how the numbers have jumped up” in the past couple of years, Peoples said.
In addition to the hot meals, ACTS provides food boxes, dozens of Backpack Buddies (weekend bags of food for schoolchildren) and Mobile Meals for people who can’t make it to the ACTS location.
All these ongoing projects get done largely through the work of about 45 loyal volunteers who come on a regular basis. “There is absolutely no way we could do what we do without volunteers,” Peoples said. And there is always a need for more help, especially in the afternoons. Many of the volunteers leave at noon or shortly thereafter, but there are still things that need to be done in the afternoons. “Even if you just have a few minutes between 12 and 2, it would be a big help.”
Just like that gigantic Thanksgiving dinner – the food has to be put away, the kitchen cleaned up and ready for the next day.
For complete details and audio click play.