Church celebrates 25 years of feeding those in need - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Church celebrates 25 years of feeding those in need

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

It's been a Saturday night tradition for a church in Cedar Rapids for more than two decades.

Every week for the last 25 years, First Lutheran Church has been feeding those in need.

Their Saturday Evening Meal Program (SEMP) has served more than 100,000 meals to thousands of people in eastern Iowa.

Vicki Hughes,  the SEMP coordinator, says they've been providing hot meals since 1989, and won't stop until there is no longer a need.

"I've been involved since we sat around my kitchen table and planned the program about 25 years ago," said Hughes. "We serve between 4,000 people and 6,000 meals each year."

The program has seen hundreds of volunteers all over the city serving hundreds of thousands who are food insecure.

Unfortunately, organizers haven't seen the numbers go down, but they are excited to celebrate making a difference in the community.

Craig Brown, the pastor at First Lutheran, says so many Americans take for granted the food on our tables.

"These folks don't," said Brown. "We believe that God has placed us in the heart of the city, to be God's heart for all in the city and this is a reflection of that."

He says celebrating 25 years is a sad, but happy occasion.

While there is an ongoing need of hunger, he says his congregation and the community at large is happy to celebrate their response to that need.

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