A Ministry of Preparing and Providing Meals
Blessing friends, family, and total strangers with meals in their temporary times of need
What is Meals Do Matter?
Meals Do Matter is a ministry that makes home-cooked meals, packages them and freezes them
for our church’s members to deliver to people in their communities that need extra comfort,
compassion, consolation and care.
The Meals Do Matter team offers a way for our church members to offer hospitality, fellowship and service to members and non-members. It has also been a great tool in our church to teach young and old how to serve.
Why "Meals Do Matter"?
“Meals Do Matter” is a natural extension of our church’s mission…“You matter to God. You matter to Us.”
It lives out the mission from God for us to be the hands & feet of Christ. The words that make up our name demonstrate “action” along with empowering people to serve.
The gift of a delicious meal really does matter to people in this world who are hurting and/or
A teaching tool for service?
The cook sessions are used to train preschoolers to seniors how to serve by making and
packaging the meals.
We encourage people to consider who could be cared for with one of our meals and to take that
person a meal.
We teach our deliverers ways to go about delivering meals to people in their worlds.
Why We Do It
Why Make this available nationwide?
We saw in some of our own lives how we were supported by our community in our times of need and realized that not everyone had that same support community.
We were inspired to begin this ministry after reading an article in The Lutheran December 2009 about the Meet Me at the Freezer ministry at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls, SD. We felt moved by the Holy Spirit to launch this ministry in an easy to use format so that other organizations could implement it quickly in their communities.
We have seen the power of this ministry in the lives of the preparers and packagers of the meals as individuals, couples, youth and families with all ages of children learn to serve and work together. And in the lives of the deliverers and recipients of the meals as they both have experienced either touching or being touched by the hands and feet of Christ.
We have seen people transform from being receivers to volunteers in an effort to give back.
We have seen people feel so blessed with their current lives that they wanted to live the concept of paying it forward and this ministry gave them that ability.
We have heard the impact this ministry has had on families in towns far from St. Louis that ourmembers have delivered meals.
When are cooking sessions?
We have cook sessions every 4 – 8 weeks depending on the need for meals. Over the years we have gone from 2 cook sessions in a year to as many as 7 cook sessions. The number of meals at each cook sessions also varies depending on need and freezer space. Since our ministry has grown so much, we acquired a 3rd freezer so that we can make more meals at each cook session.
We have made from 340 total meals in our first year 2010 to nearly 1000 meals in 2014!
Who Makes the meals?
Our cooking sessions are planned by our Meals Do Matter Ministry Team.
Trinity Lutheran Members of all ages along with friends of members help with prepping and
with assembling the meals.
The middle school youth from a variety of churches in the area meet for a “Be Like Jesus”
weekend and spend a day serving in the community. One of their service projects is making meals for Meals Do Matter.
Our Confirmation youth make meals in an effort to be the hands and feet of Christ.
Who receives the meals?
Our meals go to a variety of people. They go to members and non-members. Basically anyone
needing some extra comfort, compassion, consolation and care. Meals are delivered for the
following reasons and more: surgery, rehab, chemo, hospice, death, new baby, new house, new neighbor, financial struggles and stress.
90% of our meals are delivered to non-members. Our meals have been delivered as far away as
Packaging Meals turns into fellowship opportunities at your organization!
Honestly, when you provide an opportunity for people to serve together, fellowship naturally occurs.
Things we have done in the past that expand the packaging of meals into “parties”.
- Served lunch with sandwiches, chips and sodas to our volunteers.
- Appetizers with wine for our Friday night cook sessions.
- Build your own Salad Suppers at a Team Member’s home for a smaller cook sessions.
- “Council Cooks” party is where our organization’s council has their meeting at the beginning of our cook session. The council then learns hands on about the ministry by preparing a meal. We usually include the serving of wine with this event.
- “Service Sunday” is where members of our organization are given multiple opportunities to serve on one particular Sunday. Meals Do Matter is one of those opportunities.