Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Don't feel like cooking, can't afford to eat out? Church has weekly picnic

Aaron Bennett, 17, talks with fellow Boy Scouts as they sand planks of wood to be made into picnic tables for Faith Covenant Church’s Wednesday dinners. From left are Chris Woodle, 12, Brandon Clark, 13, and Casey Weber, 14.

MARTHA RIAL | Times

Aaron Bennett, 17, talks with fellow Boy Scouts as they sand planks of wood to be made into picnic tables for Faith Covenant Church’s Wednesday dinners. From left are Chris Woodle, 12, Brandon Clark, 13, and Casey Weber, 14.

With news of the economy increasingly worrisome, members of Faith Covenant Church decided to do something to ease the lives of the church's neighbors.

On Wednesdays, beginning this week, the church will offer a picnic dinner of hot dogs, hamburgers and side dishes for a small donation. No RSVP is needed, which means church members will have no idea of how many guests to expect or how much food to prepare.

Though Pastor Jim DeGrado didn't mention the well-known biblical account of the loaves and fishes, he came close. "It's by faith that we are launching into this project,'' he said. "The name of our church says it all — Faith Covenant.''

Jane Lenhart, chairwoman of the church's local missions, said the congregation is initially preparing to serve 100 people. Last weekend, church members gathered to make picnic tables and benches for their guests. The project was led by 17-year-old Aaron Bennett, who volunteered to build the picnic furniture as his Eagle Scout project. Aaron, a member of Troop 261, which meets at Riviera United Methodist Church, raised money for the project and enlisted the help of church members and fellow Scouts.

DeGrado said members of his church, at 150 62nd Ave. NE, decided to offer the dinners from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. to help neighbors get through difficult financial times.

"Some of our people who are in leadership thought about the state of affairs of Pinellas County, particularly St. Petersburg, as the price of gas goes up and with the tightening of money and the loss of jobs, and thought that what we would like to do is give our neighbors a break and invite them to dinner,'' he said.

Lenhart sees other benefits, including giving busy people a night off from cooking and cleaning. "So this will serve not only our neighborhood, but also the families that go to our Wednesday night activities. And what better way to meet and get to know our neighbors than with a meal,'' she said.

"And let them get to know us,'' the pastor said. "No strings attached.''

Waveney Ann Moore, Times Staff Writer

Don't feel like cooking, can't afford to eat out? Church has weekly picnic 03/15/08 [Last modified: Saturday, March 15, 2008 6:02am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Jim Harbaugh's Michigan football team is still hiding its roster

    Blogs

    Jim Harbaugh slipped one more offseason antic in just at the buzzer.

  2. Port Richey man burned, dogs killed in explosion that destroys home

    Public Safety

    PORT RICHEY — A man suffered serious burns and a number of dogs were killed when a house exploded as he was fueling an electric generator, neighbors said.

    An explosion destroyed one home and damaged another on Velvet Drive in Port Richey on Sunday night. One man received critical injuries and a number of dogs died. [HOWARD ALTMAN   |   Times]
  3. In Case You Missed It: U.S. sailors missing after Navy destroyer collides with oil tanker; Comedians Dick Gregory, Jerry Lewis pass away

    Blogs

    Weekends are great for unwinding, and maybe even unplugging for a little while. Here's what trended that you might have missed if you weren't on social media the last couple days.

    Dick Gregory in Washington, March 10, 2009. Gregory, the pioneering black satirist who transformed cool humor into a barbed force for civil rights in the 1960s, then veered from his craft for a life devoted to social causes, health regimens and conspiracy theories, died in Washington on Aug. 19, 2017. He was 84.
  4. Video: How to make a pinhole projector if you didn't score eclipse glasses

    Space

    CAPE CANAVERAL — Solar glasses are a must for safe viewing of Monday's total solar eclipse, the first to span coast to U.S. coast in 99 years.

    Follow these simple instructions to make a pinhole projector out of a cereal box. [Photo from video]
  5. Walmart expands grocery delivery service to Tampa

    Retail

    TAMPA — Walmart is expanding its grocery delivery service to Tampa, the company announced Monday. Five locations will offer delivery for online grocery orders.

    Walmart is expanding its grocery delivery to Tampa, the company announced Monday. | [Times file photo]