FORT WAYNE,Ind. (WANE) – One love, lots of free meals. A church, a real estate company and a food truck recently joined forces to help feed families who are financially struggling because of the pandemic.
Cars lined up by the hundreds one rainy afternoon in May in the parking lot of Come As You Are Community Church at 7910 South Anthony Boulevard. They weren’t there for a sermon, but what they got, was a blessing. “My kids have been out of school for awhile now,” said Steffanie Haney, one of the people who lined up in the parking lot. She and her car load of kids lined up to get free hot meals. “We’ve been paying cash for food and it’s not easy so this is actually a blessing,”
The blessing was served out of One Love Food Truck, paid for in part by Come As You Are. “The people on this end of town need it,” said Sandy Payton Outreach Activity Coordinator at Come As You Are. “Very little comes this way. We feel a very strong pull to help this part of the city.”
Come As You Are is located in southeast Fort Wayne. The church has partnered with One Love Food Truck before. Owner Autumn Law says setting up pop-up charity events at area churches to feed those in need is part of her ministry. “We’re kind of notorious for doing our free meal giveaway,” said Law. “So when they reached out to us we said sure why not. We’re part of a homeless ministry where every Sunday we go out and we feed the people of Fort Wayne. We work with the homeless, people in recovery, people on the streets, women, children, anybody in need. So it’s something we’ve already done for about five years.”
The pop-up held May 13, 2020 was the third time One Love set up in the parking lot of Come As You Are Community church but it was the first time hundreds of free meals had been given away. Keller Williams Real Estate and Come As You worked together to pay for the meals at $10 dollars a plate. “Keller asked One Love to do 135 and I said let us do another 100 or so we can really feed a good amount of people,” said Payton.
And that’s just what they did. Instead of giving away 250 meals as initially planned, the church and the real estate company paid enough for more than 300 meals to be served.
“It makes me feel good that they’re helping the community and they really care,” said Frederick Stevenson, one of those who received a free meal.
“We kind of dubbed it feed thy neighbor when the pandemic started,” said Law. “If there’s a church out there that wants to do it, then we’ll show up and give away food.”
One Love expects it will have helped give away about 5,000 meals in the next month or so. You can keep track of its pop up charity events by following them on Facebook.