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Photo: Lutheran Campus Center participants volunteering at the weekly FEAST meal.

Submitted by Pam Davick (FEAST Chair) and Marie Holmquist (FEAST Communications) of Central Lutheran Church in Winona.

(Winona) – The FEAST Committee of Central Lutheran Church, Winona, was a 2023 recipient of a $500 SEMN Synod Food Ministry Grant. Without people to cook, we have no ministry. However, cooks were the most difficult volunteer roles to fill because people prefer making what is familiar to them. The grant allowed us to expand our menu options so that we could more easily recruit cooks.  As a result, we were able to serve 25% more guests this year (roughly 800+ more meals than the previous year).  We estimate that on any given week, 20%-25% of our guests are food insecure.  We also estimate that this number is an increase from earlier years.

When we reflect on the impact of this grant, it also enabled us to purchase equipment and contribute to facility upgrades, including electrical work that directly impacted safety for our volunteers, which benefits our whole ministry. We had many lean years with barely enough money to buy food for the coming week’s meal. With grants such as this, we have breathing room and the ability to keep up with consumables and equipment purchases, including roasters, liners, and take-out containers.

Looking forward, we see an opportunity to expand our ministry by partnering with local agencies to provide more takeout meals to homebound members of the community.

We are grateful for the generosity of the SEMN Synod Food Ministry. Generous donations allow us to live out Christ’s commission to feed the hungry and walk with our neighbors.


Learn more about the 2024 Synod Food Ministry Grant process here.