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Bread of Life: Marietta church feeds hungry spirits every Saturday

From front to back, Susan Clegg, the moderator at the First Congregational Church in Marietta cooks at the stove while Teresa Porter, chair of outreach, prepares the eggs and Laura Everly, a volunteer with the church, wraps the breakfasts sandwiches in the kitchen. (Photo by Madeline Scarborough)

MARIETTA — For two and a half years now, the First Congregational Church in Marietta has worked to help feed the public.

What started with helping a few has continued growing, and now every Saturday the church offers 120 to 140 free breakfasts.

These meals go to anyone who may need a helping hand, and according to Steve Porter, a church volunteer who is in charge of the breakfasts, no meal ever goes to waste.

What is not picked up by someone is then distributed through the Gospel Mission.

Sometimes they are able to provide more than just food.

Teresa Porter, chair of outreach at the First Congregational Church in Marietta, prepares the eggs for breakfast sandwiches Saturday morning. (Photo by Madeline Scarborough)

“Today we are able to hand out a large bottle of milk and a container of cream cheese with each meal thanks to a donation from Harvest for Hope,” said Porter.

Because of concerns of spreading COVID-19, most people just pick up a prepackaged bag of food for each member of their family, however Porter said they have a room where those who are homeless can dine in, socialize and enjoy a cup of coffee.

While they are cautious, Porter said they never shut down during the Pandemic and instead worked around it to continue providing to those in need.

Porter said that when the ok is given the church will offer both a pick up and dine in option.

“This is one meal those in need won’t have to worry about,” he said.

Laura Everly, a volunteer with First Congregational Church in Marietta, wraps the breakfasts sandwiches in the kitchen. (Photo by Madeline Scarborough)

Wayne Holder, a regular, said he has been coming since it started.

“It helps,” he said. “I can come get some for the whole family, including the extras like cream cheese and milk when they have it; this church and all the volunteers, they are real good people.”

Funding for the breakfasts come from grants, other church support and inside support from the church’s outreach funds.

“Contributions are needed, this is a minimum of $8,000 a year to put together, but there is such a need,” said Porter. “We try to stretch our dollars as much as possible.”

Porter said that the church starts pre-packaging the bags with items on Thursday or Friday, so that way everything is ready Saturday morning for the warm food to be added in. The church shops on Wednesday or Thursday. Bags include fruit, a fruit bar or snack cake and a hot meal item and a drink.

Every Saturday the First Congregational Church in Marietta cooks 120 to 140 free breakfasts for the community and prepackages them for distribution. (Photo by Madeline Scarborough)

“We have 25-30 volunteers who are committed regulars from our and other churches,” said Porter.

Those wishing to donate can make out a check to the First Congregational Church Breakfast Ministry.

While the church tries not to cancel, front street will be closed next weekend on Saturday for a parade, and Porter says they will not be serving breakfasts, however they will resume on Sept. 11.

Susan Clegg, the moderator at the First Congregational Church in Marietta cooks breakfast sandwiches at the stove. (Photo by Madeline Scarborough)

Charlie Wilcoxen plays classical music and hymns on the violin for people handing out and recieving the free meal from the First Congregational Church in Marietta. (Photo by Madeline Scarborough)

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