Wesley’s Temple Take-Out Ministry continues feeding others even in pandemic

JOHNS ISLAND—Wesley United Methodist Church’s Temple Take-Out Ministry, established in 2016, is a community-wide meal delivery service that provides those in need with a friendly greeting and weekend meal free of charge.

This ministry is now in its fifth year, providing tasty meals once a month to more than 80 seniors aged 65 or older in need or with disabilities who are living in the communities of Johns and Wadmalaw islands.

On the second Sunday of each month, volunteers deliver meals to individual homes using Wesley’s bus and personal cars.

Meals were prepared in-house at Wesley UMC until April 2020. Volunteers shopped for food/supplies, cooked and packaged balanced meals and then delivered the homemade meals to residents of Johns and Wadmalaw islands. Because of the COVID-19 outbreak and suspension of in-person gathering, meetings and worship at Wesley UMC, April and May Temple Take-Out activities were suspended. The ministry rapidly adapted to the changes brought on by the global pandemic, and activities of this ministry resumed in June, utilizing a catering service for the safety of the volunteers and participants.

Every month, volunteers call Temple Take-Out Ministry participants to find out what is going on in their lives and to remind them of the upcoming delivery date. On these calls, participants share their latest joys and pains, enabling volunteers to build strong relationships with those they serve.

Each month, a dedicated and motivated group of volunteers is involved in the Temple Take-Out Ministry. One of the volunteers, Joseph Fields, frequently drives Wesley’s church bus to deliver meals to residents of Johns and Wadmalaw islands. He is a third-generation farmer who is the sole proprietor of Joseph Fields farm, a 50-acre certified organic fruit and vegetable farm located at 3129 River Road, Johns Island. He is honored in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History and Culture as one of the first certified organic farmers.

Fields’ donation of fruits and nuts allowed the Temple Take-Out Ministry to augment its meals with fruit bags in December.

Volunteers said they are thankful to the Sea Islands Hunger Awareness Foundation who has helped fund the Temple Take-Out feeding ministry since 2017. They said support from the foundation has been crucial to fighting food insecurity in the communities of Johns and Wadmalaw islands.

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