ARCHBOLD - The Tuesday evening community meal is becoming the place to be in Archbold, Pastor Paul Reichert, St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, recently told the Archbold Rotary Club. Some 45 persons attended the very first community meal three years ago; however, attendance has grown significantly since then. The very first year that area churches and community groups came together to offer the weekly meals, an average of 205 meals were served. The next year (2012), the average weekly participation grew to 248 and this year the weekly average is 273 meals.
He noted that the eight churches and eight community groups that sponsor meals are running out of venues within the village to hold the event. Zion Mennonite has hosted the meals for the last two years after St. John’s Christian Church served as the initial host. However, Zion is hoping to hand over the duties in 2014 to another church.
The Archbold Area Ministerial Association, founders of the community meal, would like to keep the event within the village limits for people who walk to the meals. Pastor Paul reported that for about 15 to 20 percent of those attending, the meals are a primary part of the family’s weekly meal plan. And, for many others - particularly area seniors - the meals serve an important social function.
He noted that at least two weekly card groups have gotten started through the community meals and others report making new friends that they look forward to seeing every Tuesday now.
Last year, Paul noted that the total number of meals served was the equivalent of providing every Archbold resident three meals during the year. For the last two years, Archbold Rotarians have hosted a community meal. The program was arranged by Tim Wagler.