Thirty Years of Dining Room Ministry

Volunteering at Dining Room Ministry (COVID-19 version)

Dining Room Ministry has been providing a hot lunch meal every Saturday since 1991. As we celebrate and remember the past 30 years, we remember the stories of those who have served and benefited from this ministry.

“Grace” was a regular guest at DRM a few years ago. After about a year of weekly visits, she suddenly stopped coming. We worried a little as months went by without seeing her. And then, one Saturday, Grace arrived at DRM with bags in hand. Many of our DRM guests bring their belongings with them so the bags were no surprise. But what was inside the bags was! They were filled with food that she wanted to donate to our hunger programs!

The DRM team leader on that day was shocked. “Yes!” he said, “We’d love to accept your generous gift. But why?” Grace replied that when she moved to Rochester she had nothing—no money, no place to live, no food. She gradually found her way and came to DRM weekly at that time. She eventually found a job, a place to live, and financial security. Her response to us was,

When I was in need you were here. I was hungry and you fed me. Now I want to return the favor. Please accept this food as my thank you for all of the support you offered to me.” Then she left.

Many of our DRM guests come back every week. We get to know them. We get to know their stories. And we rejoice when we learn they’ve found their financial footing, like Grace did. DRM is a ministry of hope and love and food that our guests can depend on. We have not missed a Saturday in over 30 years and we don’t plan to miss one in the next 30. We are thankful to all of you who have supported DRM through volunteer hours, contributions and participation in the East Avenue Grocery Run. Your support allows us to continue this vital and life-sustaining ministry for our neighbors in need.