As it the temperature drops and our schedules become busier, it becomes easier to order out a meal for dinner. Luckily in State College, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church has a convenient solution for dinner. On the corner of Foster and Fraser can find a free hot meal every Thursday from five to seven p.m. at St. Andrew’s.
The meals are served by volunteers from the State College community. Volunteers pick up food donations, prep, cook, and clean from as early as 10 a.m. The free hot meal service is open to anyone in the area, not just parish members. There is no assigned seating at the church, guests literally come together by break bread with one another.
The free hot meal service at St. Andrew’s began six years ago by a couple of older women in the church who wanted to feed the homeless. Originally, the free hot meal was just soup and bread, according to Ron Rovansek, who organizes the weekly dinner. However, Rovansek wanted to provide more food for people that brought in their families.
Now, every Thursday St. Andrew’s provides a main dish, two salads, fruits and vegetables, and a huge assortment of desserts. Rovansek also said that everyone is deserving of a free hot meal which is why no one is questioned when they enter St. Andrew’s church. Everyone in the community is welcomed to attend.
Close to one hundred guests come to St. Andrew’s to enjoy a hot meal every Thursday and as expected, an even larger amount of guests will attend on Thanksgiving.
St. Andrew’s has never missed a Thursday to cater the free hot meal, even when major holidays such as Christmas and July fourth feel on a Thursday.
Rovansek is happy to commit such a great amount of time to this event because he believes it brings the State College community together and that it provides everyone a chance to feel welcomed.