Lipscomb students come together with other volunteers Thursday evenings to participate in Feeding the Hungry at St. John’s United Methodist Church. This weekly event provides a hot meal as well as clothing and other necessities to anyone in the community in need.
“We do the food pantry and the clothes closet,” said Sandra Griggs, St. John’s United Methodist Church pastor and wife of Alan Griggs, associate professor of communication and journalism.
Students portion salads, wash dishes, serve the food, clean the tables and do anything they can to help the other service members, according to the pastor.
St. John’s is open from 3 to 5:30 p.m. every Thursday, and anyone is welcome to come to the clothes closet and get a free meal. Around 7 p.m. the volunteers begin cleaning up. Both the food pantry and clothes closet are supplied by a variety of donors.
“Deodorant, soap, clothes or leftover food. This stuff is all donated,” said Sandra Griggs.
St. John’s Methodist Church has been feeding the community every week for close to 20 years and has plans to continue.
“We have all sorts of people come to serve. We have newcomers, church members, and people from all different churches,” she said.
“We would love any help we can get for these events. We have high school students that need to do community service, college students, and people from the community. Teenagers can come as long as they have a parent with them.”
As a part of Lipscomb’s emphasis on service-learning, students from the university have become regular helpers at St. John’s.
“We have Lipscomb students come at least once a month to help our event,” said the pastor.
All students at Lipscomb are required to acquire at least two service-learning experiences before graduation. SALT is an academic service-learning program providing the chance to enhance academic understanding by applying knowledge and skills in service projects.
In addition to getting more deeply involved in the Nashville community, volunteering with this program also gives students a chance to fulfill their SALT requirements.
Those who would like to help with Feeding the Hungry can call 615-356-1840 to sign up to help on Thursday nights at the church at 6300 Charlotte Pike in West Nashville.
Volunteers also can sign up through the myLipscomb page by going to the connect tab on the right side of the screen. Located in this panel, there is the “SALT” tab. Following the instructions on the site.
Yet another alternative is to sign up through Hands On Nashville’s website, using this link.
“I think a lot of people living on the margins need people in their life to give them the basic life skills that they need to have a good foundation to build off of,” said Griggs. “It is our job to provide them with what we can.”