Meal program aims to unite community


In a society hampered by constant dissension, a group of people in Delaware are hoping to promote unity through meal sharing.

The CRAVE Community Lunch program, which was started six months ago, offers a free meal for anyone who wishes to eat and share in conversation with fellow community members. The meals, which are prepared to accommodate 60 people, are hosted at Journey Community Church, located at 652 W. Central Ave., on the fourth Sunday of every month at noon.

“It came about, really, just from feeling overwhelmed by all the division, all of the hatred, all of the things that kept us apart, whether it’s political, whether it’s racial,” Tim House told The Gazette. “We really wanted to do something about it. We’re not a big group, and nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something.”

House, the lead pastor at Journey Community Church, said that while CRAVE is a “parallel organization” of the church, the purpose of the lunch program is not to minister to those who wish to take part in the meal, and religion won’t be forced on anyone. “The lunch is not a religious event,” he said.

House added, “We understand that people don’t always want to be involved with the church, they don’t want to sit through services, they don’t want to do that stuff. But we wanted to just offer people a table and a meal where they can find common ground they didn’t know they had. That’s really been the basis, creating that space and opportunity for people to come and get to know their neighbors, to be able to talk with some folks, and maybe find some connection that makes the world a little kinder, a little friendlier.”

However, after lunch, House said all who wish to learn more about the Christian faith are welcome to stay for a brief presentation and conversation once the meal ends.

“If you want to stay and do that, that’s great,” he said. “If you’re all ready to go, you’ve had your fill, met some folks, that’s great, too, and we’ll see you next month. … I’m not trying to do any kind of a bait and switch.”

House said the simple act of sharing a meal with someone is “critical” in that it tends to promote the quality of conversation that often is lost as people go through their increasingly busy daily lives.

“When you sit down over a meal, it causes you to share a little bit more about your heart, a little bit more of your life, and it really allows you to take a breath and just kind of be there with somebody,” he said.

House noted that while CRAVE would be more than happy to feed anyone who is in need of a meal, the overall goal is not simply to feed hungry people.

“We’re not feeding the poor, we’re inviting people to lunch,” he said. “For us, that is an important distinction. Again, we hope if you don’t have a meal, we absolutely want you to come. But it’s really about having an opportunity to have people open up their lives, tell them each other’s stories, and let’s see what kind of common ground we have instead of focusing on the stuff that makes us different and divides us.”

For those looking to enjoy a homemade Thanksgiving spread, CRAVE will be hosting a holiday meal on Sunday, Nov. 20, at the church. The meal will include all the staples —turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, stuffing, and cranberry sauce — and is set to begin at noon.

For more information on the meal program, check out CRAVE’s Facebook page at To reach out with further questions, email them at [email protected].

The CRAVE Community Lunch is held monthly at Journey Community Church, located at 652 W. Central Ave. in Delaware. CRAVE Community Lunch is held monthly at Journey Community Church, located at 652 W. Central Ave. in Delaware. Courtesy photo

By Dillon Davis

[email protected]

Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.

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