Community DinnerJoyce Favero could hardly contain the emotions that poured from her small frame. The Community Dinners program desperately needed the support it received Wednesday, Feb. 17.
The House of Ruth, a local home for men with disabilities, donated $1,000 to the Community Dinner program, which could help cover some of the costs for the 26 dates left this year that are yet to be sponsored.
“This is a God-send for us,” Favero said.
Bill Rinckey, who sits on the board of directors for the House of Ruth, said $500 was donated by the board itself. The remaining $500 comes from the House of Ruth Nick LaFave Memorial Fund. Rinckey said the men at the House of Ruth have been coming each week to the Community Dinners for the last 16 years.
“It seems like they’ve been here forever,” Favero said.
Rinckey said the House of Ruth residents look forward to joining community members for dinner each week and knew the program could use some support. He said it was an easy choice for the board to make.
Favero, who has volunteered her time, and often, financial support for the past 20 years, has rapidly seen sponsorship for the program dwindle over the course of the last two years. Relying solely on the generosity of the community, the Community Dinner program has existed for the past 24 years, serving a free meal every Wednesday at the Charlotte Eagles Club. The Eagles allows the program to use its hall free of charge.
Despite the loss of sponsorship, the need for such a program is as strong as ever, Favero said. Currently, the Community Dinners serve 60 to 80 people each Wednesday, though she said turnout is often dependent on the weather.
Sponsorship for each meal can be as little as $150 to $200 depending on the kind of meal the sponsor wishes to serve. Several local churches, businesses and organizations sponsor meals, and volunteer to help prepare and serve the food.
“If no one sponsors the meal, the three of us (Favero, Teri Sebolt and Jeanne Dieter) will cover the cost,” Favero said. “We have 26 weeks where we do not have sponsors for this year. It’s such a worthy cause. People come to congregate, sit and have a good time.”
Independent Bank in Charlotte is accepting donations for the Community Dinners, Favero said. Those wishing to sponsor a meal can contact her at (517) 541-1249.