The flood of 2011 impacted Minot in various ways. Many people were forced to move from their homes and some churches were forced to vacate their premises, leaving them unable to operate their soup kitchens and food pantries. Just as people are rebuilding their homes, the churches are resuming their mission to feed the hungry.
Taste of Heaven, the soup kitchen for Minot's Faith United Methodist Church, has found a new location. Starting Sept. 12, church volunteers were found serving creative and delicious meals Mondays from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the lower level of Congregational United Church of Christ, 430 N. Broadway.
Faith's food pantry, The Lord's Cupboard, also has a new location at 103-14th Ave. SW, in a former insurance office. The hours for the food pantry are Mondays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesdays, 1 to 4 p.m., and Fridays, 2 to 5 p.m.
Katie Wiedrick, left, and Helen Kjonaas, both of Minot, prepare the English muffin pizzas for the Wednesday soup kitchen at Immanuel Baptist Church in Minot.
"While most of the frozen meats were given to disaster response agencies and agencies which serve the poor during the days prior to the evacuation, Faith United Methodist was able to save staple food items in temporary shelter so it has been able to operate in its mobile food pantry throughout the summer months," the Rev. Debra Hall-Kilbourne, pastor of the church, said.
"We are deeply appreciative for our partnership with North Central Human Service Center, which allowed us a unique ability to provide for our clients in the parking lot of Town and Country Center until a 'winter' home could be found," she added.
Christ Lutheran Church also received major damage during the flood but members there haven't given up on serving the community.
Church volunteers have re-opened Katie's Kitchen in Bread of Life Lutheran Church, 1415-17th Ave. SW, each Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Katie's Kitchen volunteers had been serving up to an average of 35 people in their church at 502-17th St. NW before the mandatory evacuation. About 15 people were served stew on Aug. 30 in Bread of Life Church. The following week spaghetti with meatsauce was served. "They are slowly coming back," Arlene Hanson said. She and Doris Olson are co-coordinators of Katie's Kitchen.
"We get a lot of donations and, if donations aren't adequate, foods are purchased," Hanson said. Some gardeners also donate a variety of produce.
Plus, there's always desserts.
"There's never a shortage of baked goods. We use goodies that are left over from funerals, fellowship and other activities," Hanson said.
"Everyone is welcome to come and share in the food and fellowship at Katie's Kitchen," Hanson added. The same invitation is extended at all soup kitchens.
Volunteers from the Seventh-day Adventist Church also serve meals on a regular basis. Meals are served Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the lower level of the church at 10-17th Ave. SW.
There were 35 to 45 people enjoying the soups, potatoes and gravy, Italian spaghetti, scalloped potatoes and more on a regular basis before the flood but those numbers have dropped a bit, Dorothy Johnson, coordinator of the Seventh-day soup kitchen, said. She is confident the number of people who come for lunch will pick up again, though.
The church has a soup kitchen fund and monies received from the Minot Area Homeless Coalition are a plus. Faith United Methodist Church also provides items for the meals, Johnson said.
"Each year the youth at Edison School have a soup bowl event," Johnson said. They make soup bowls, fill them with soup and sell them for $5 at the event. The proceeds of their sale are given to the local soup kitchens.
A noon meal is also served in Immanuel Baptist Church, 1615-2nd St. SE, on Wednesdays, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The meal on Wednesday included pizza on an English muffin, salad, a cookie and a beverage. People could also take day-old breads/pastries donated by MarketPlace Foods from a table as they left.
Members of All Saints Episcopal Church, St. Leo's Catholic Church and Bethany Lutheran Church are working together to provide a community lunch on Thursdays, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., in All Saints Episcopal Church, 301 S. Main St.
River of Life Church was involved prior to the flood but is currently focused on helping families who are staying at the River of Life Church on North Hill.
Alice Yeager, a deacon at All Saints Church, expressed a deep gratitude to those who have supported the soup kitchen with donations of food, money and volun- teerism. "Everyone is treated as a guest at our luncheon, anyone can come," she said.
The participating churches alternate Thursdays. The first and fifth Thursday volunteers from All Saints prepare and serve the meal; the second and fourth Thursday, people from Bethany Lutheran volunteer their time and on the third Thursday, volunteers from St. Leo's Church can be found cooking and doing the serving.
"Everybody has their own time and their own day," Yeager said.
She added that the people attending the lunch dropped after the flood and during the summer but are "getting back to normal" now with the number of people coming to eat ranging from 40 to 60 people each Thursday.
First Lutheran Church in Minot resumed its free lunches on Sept. 9. Lunches are served from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the church parish center, 120-5th Ave. NW. Circumstances during the flood forced the lunches to be discontinued for the summer.
It's not lunch, but breakfast which is served Saturdays from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. in the lower level of Congregational United Church of Christ basement. People should use the east door of the church at 430 N. Broadway.
Seven or eight different teams cook and serve the 30 to 40 people who attend a variety of menus, coordinator Judy Allen said.
And, near the end of the day, each Wednesday from 5 to 6:30 p.m., a meal is served in First Presbyterian Church, 1000-3rd St. NE.
All churches stressed that anyone is welcome to come and eat and enjoy the fellowship. Volunteers are welcome too. People should contact the respective church where they would like to volunteer.
Ed Meier, a volunteer at the All Saints Episcopal community lunch said, "It's very rewarding to volunteer because you not only have a chance to help prepare the meal, you get to see the people enjoying it."