MARSHALL - Esther's Kitchen has always been about serving the community, and to better do that, the weekly Thursday evening meal will be served an hour later, at 6 p.m., said Celeste Lasich, pastor of Christ United Presbyterian Church.
"When we started six years ago, five o'clock was a perfect time for the cooks and guests," Lasich
"As time has passed, the volunteers are almost all working.
Trying to be here before five o'clock is much more complicated."
said it was a "Eureka!
moment when one of the volunteers asked "what would happen if we did it later?
Changing the time was brought up at a meeting of the volunteers from Christ United
, First Lutheran and the morning Rotary Club who realized serving the meal from 6-7 p.m. "would be easier on the volunteers and the people coming to eat," Lasich
Those used to coming at 5 p.m., don't have to change your plans, Lasich
Those arriving early will find cards, board games and other activities to occupy their time and help them get to know their neighbors and community, which is why Esther's Kitchen exists, Lasich
"It can be someplace to go, hang out and play board games and talk to people.
The social aspect of this is very important," Lasich
envisions Esther's Kitchen as a place where everyone can gather for a good, nutritious meal and get to know others.
Musicians and others would be welcome to contribute their talents to the event.
It is not a "soup kitchen" for just the homeless or poor, Lasich
At the same time, the pastor knows there is a need to feed in the community.
"We know there are many students for whom getting a good balanced meal is a real struggle," she
"We want to encourage them to come and see what the rest of the community where they go to school looks like.
"For people who are reluctant to come, think of it as this is just a way for you and your family to get through this particular time," Lasich
"People resort to lower priced foods high in fat and carbohydrates, which has long-term consequences for health.
If we can serve good, nutritious food and send some home with them, that's what we want to do.
"We have the capacity to feed 100 people a night," Lasich
"We're nowhere close to that.
And we'd like for people to feel welcome to come and share a meal."
plans to walk out in faith and prepare more food in anticipation of more visitors.
"We're planning to cook for more and keep quick back-ups to easily fix a second course if we need to," Lasich
said Esther's Kitchen is blessed with many donations, including extras from funerals, business parties, birthday parties and public events.
"We're high on people's minds to donate food that needs to be used within a week," Lasich
said, adding they got "wonderful donations from people's gardens" in season.
"We welcome donations and ask that people call the office at 532-9679 to make sure someone is there to take the donation," she
If Esther's Kitchen can't use it, Lasich
knows several organizations in town, such as Kitchen Table food shelf.
"All of us who are working to eliminate hunger work together to utilize the food in the best possible way," Lasich