Montgomery County church volunteers are helping feed neighborhood kids

The "Table of Plenty" program offering free lunches inside the church has been around for decades.

Beccah Hendrickson Image
Wednesday, August 3, 2022 11:21PM
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The program started in 2016 when the church found out some kids at an elementary school a few blocks away from the church were going hungry on weekends.

SOUDERTON, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- A free lunch program that started in a Montgomery County church is helping to feed hundreds of kids in the community.

At Zion Mennonite Church in Souderton, the sweetest sound for volunteers is neighbors sharing a meal.

The "Table of Plenty" program offering free lunches inside the church has been around for decades.

"It's lasagna and roast beef, and ham and potatoes. It's really a very nice job that they do," explained Donna Halteman.

It's the food that goes out the door, however, that's changing lives in this community.

"We live in a bubble. We go to the same store and the same restaurant and we drive down the same roads. Maybe we attend the same church week after week, but what if you drive one block farther?" said Halteman, founder of "The Bean Bag Program."

"We provide weekend meals to children who experience hunger when they're not in school," she said.

The program started in 2016 when the church found out some kids at an elementary school a few blocks away from the church were going hungry on weekends. The church started feeding 20 kids. The number now is close to 200 across multiple school districts.

"We like to recognize the children because every child is special," said Halteman.

The program is all community driven. The food is either collected or bought on donations. Volunteers bag and distribute the bags.

This summer, volunteers are giving away books too.

"Part of our program is to feed children so they can focus in school," said Halteman.

She says the effort shows how strong and caring her community really is.

"They support each other. They support their neighbors. They care about their neighbors and they have big hearts. They're willing to share of the extra they have," said Halteman.