ROCHESTER, Minn. – Every Thursday night for the past year or so, volunteers from the Zumbro Lutheran Church and People of Hope Lutheran Church have worked together to feed the hungry in our area through a ministry called Open Table.
Food is prepared in the church kitchen and is brought out to into the community to be served. Soon, they hope to be able to serve even more people thanks to the use of a food truck.
Pastor Lisa Kipp from Zumbro Lutheran and Pastor Dan Doering from People of Hope started Open Table. They say while there are great resources in the area to address the issue of food insecurity, they noticed a gap; working families who needed access to food after 5 p.m. that also had transportation barriers. To solve that problem, they brought the hot meals into the community.
With the addition of the food truck, Kipp and Doering are hoping they can make it to even more locations around Rochester. Not to mention, it will allow them to prepare the food on-site. Right now, all the food is prepared in the commissary kitchen.
“This will allow us to prepare different types of food, and we can prepare it while we’re serving, and serve hot food readily to our guests who come hungry,” Pastor Kipp explains.
Open Table is simple — they serve people who show up who are hungry, no judgments, and no questions asked. Currently, they’re serving around 200 burritos each week.
The plan is to start serving out of the truck next Thursday, but as they transition, most of the food will still be prepared in the church kitchen.
“The big dream for the truck is to enable other community groups or congregations to go out there and feed people too and really be neighbors to the community,” Pastor Doering says. “Our long-term vision is to have this truck out as much as possible to different areas in Rochester where folks are hungry.”
Both churches will have events to bless the food truck on Sunday. For more information, you can find Open Table Food Ministry on Facebook.