GLIDE — The smell of chicken enchiladas greeted Steve and Helga Schroller of Glide at the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Glide Wednesday night as they attended the monthly Grateful Bread dinner.
“We wouldn’t miss it,” Steve Schroller said with a smile. “It’s one more day she doesn’t have to cook, too.”
Last spring, Glide residents Ann Kercher and Kelli Long saw a need for a home-cooked meal for everyone. For six months now, they and a couple dozen volunteers have hosted dinners on the first Wednesday of the month.
The first dinner drew about 80 people. Now, the cooks prepare enough food to serve 200.
“We wanted to find a way to reach out to the community,” Kercher said. “It’s nice to sit down and eat in a family style. There’s a lot of people who are alone out here in Glide.”
Kercher and Long, members of the North Umpqua Bible Fellowship in Roseburg, searched for a church to host the monthly dinners. The women found a partner in the Adventist church.
“It is encouraging to partner with another church,” Kercher said.
The dinners aren’t tailored for any income level. They provide an opportunity for people from various backgrounds to socialize.
“It feels like a family meal,” Kercher said. “You can’t tell who has and who has not.”
Volunteers also deliver meals to people who are not able to make it to the church.
The venture relies on donations from churches, but it’s outgrowing that support. Kercher and Long say they hope charitable grants will keep the dinners going.
The dinners serve a need, according to the Schrollers.
“Groceries are going up and people are struggling. Here you can meet other people and don’t have to go too far from home,” Helga Schroller said.
• You can reach reporter Betsy Swanback at 541-957-4208 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org