HomePlate – Feeding Hungry Children

I should have known things wouldn’t go according my plan when the beef was still frozen and we couldn’t find a can opener for the multi-pack of black beans. 

I look forward to serving dinner at HomePlate. Coordinating one meal a month, I pretty much have a handle on feeding the couch-surfing youth. 

Note to self: Don’t ever think you have a complete handle on anything.

At the beginning of the week, we had a volunteer team of 8. But life happens and by Wednesday we were down to 3. 

“No big deal,” I confidently thought, “We’ve got enough food and Sandy, Kim, & I are experienced. We’ve got it covered.”

We can handle anything!
Arriving at HomePlate, I met Shauntel, a college student who showed up for school credit. Awesome. Another set of hands. 

Kevin and Carey dropped off food but ended up staying to slice and dice while Sandy defrosted ground beef in the microwave then browned it into taco meat. Shauntel chopped the lettuce, Kim put out the cheese, salsa, and guacamole and I warmed up tortillas. 

See? Not a problem. Dinner service is from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. We usually start out with about 5 teens coming through and then more youth filter in as the evening progresses. Slow and steady. Plenty of time to prepare food throughout the night.

Except at 6:00, instead of a few older teens lined up at the cafeteria door, there were 20ish elementary aged kids waiting for dinner. 


And not understanding my words when I offered the crunchy taco or the soft taco. (The what?) The yellow or the white? (Huh?) This one or that one? (Oh!)

We served the first wave and took a deep breath. Where did all these kids come from?

In the weeks since I’d last served, kids from the apartment complex across the street found out about Wednesday night dinners. And here they were. Without parents. Little kids (and I mean little – one boy couldn’t have been more than 5 years old) who have homes, but still need to eat.

And what do kids without parents present eat first?

So we fed them. We gave seconds. We gave thirds. Some took leftovers.  And my heart broke because there is too much damn poverty in this country.

The night began chaotic. I stressed because I focused on my needs and my comfort level. 

Even so, we cooked and kids ate. I may have felt out of control, but it didn’t matter. 

God had it covered.

Related Posts:
Couch-Surfers, I’m Thinking Of You
Solid Proof HomePlate is Excellent

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