Sunday I participated in Stone Soup. Once every other month, members from First United Methodist Church of Benton travel to Quapaw Methodist Church in downtown Little Rock. Every Sunday, this church provides meals to the homeless. Volunteers from various organizations provide the labor for the program.
When we arrived, we found there’d been a scheduling mishap. Another group had also been requested to help, so we were over-staffed. However, the large number of volunteers made things easy and efficient. I scooped large tubs of potato salad into a metal bin. Others cut onions, heated tubs of barbecue, sliced pound cake, decorated tables with tiny vases of artificial flowers, and wrapped plastic utensils in paper napkins. Later I scooped ice into Styrofoam cups, and then handed the cup to someone else who added iced tea.
Near the door, there was a small disagreement between two men standing at the head of the line. One accused another of cutting in. The woman who runs the pantry spoke to them, assured them that there was plenty for everyone, and things quieted down.
Once everything was in place, people were allowed through the line. There was more than enough for everyone, and anyone who desired could have seconds and thirds. For the most part, the recipients of the meal were friendly, humble, and very appreciative. After finishing his dinner, one man played the piano.
A little boy, the son of a volunteer, went among the tables with a pitcher of tea, refilling empty cups.
When the last person left, metal chairs were folded and stacked on tables. The floors were swept, and the dishes washed. We were only there 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
Definitely something I’ll participate in again.