Combatting Hunger with the Longest Table

By Rick Wolcott*

One in four people go to bed hungry in Steubenville and the surrounding community.

To raise awareness of the impact of hunger, the United Methodist-related Urban Mission (Ohio Valley District) set a table down the middle of the street and fed 300 people.

“There is something special, something sacred when people can look each other in the eye when their eating, to take time out of their day, to not hurry, and just to enjoy each other’s presence and there’s no better way to do that than around a table,” said the Rev. Ashley Steele, executive director of the Urban Mission.

Individuals, church groups, business leaders and others from the community came together on a beautiful day to show their support for one another and to recognize that September is Hunger Awareness Month in the United States.

The meal fed more than bellies, it also provided food for the dinner guests’ minds.

“On our tables we have cards for talking points.  They are questions people can ask each other, as well as consider for themselves.  We want them to be able to talk about the importance of sitting around a table, the importance of eating a meal together, and what it means to be hungry – but then to also take what they have learned with them and share that information in their everyday life,” Steele said.

Learn more about the Urban Mission.

*Rick Wolcott is director of Communications for the East Ohio Conference of The United Methodist Church.