Project Food is a social service project of First Congregational Church begun in November of 1984 in response to the increasing numbers of homeless and needy in and near the downtown area. Initially a hot, sit down dinner was served every Wednesday, and clothing and blankets were distributed. In later years, a children's program of crafts and reading was added, known as Storytime. Project Food is currently networking with the County Mental Health Homeless Intervention Team, the County Health Department for immunizations, as well as other faith-based organizations. A Christmas program complete with Santa Claus, gifts, and a special dinner is provided every year. Students from local junion and senior high schools and colleges donate many hours of community service time to Project Food.
On that first Wednesday evening in 1994, we served 17 guests. The average number of guests in June, July, and August of 2002 was 227. For 18 years Project Food has not only provided a service to the needy, but has also provided hours of fellowship and fun for our volunteers. The following is our Mission Statement:
Our understanding of God's work leads us to address the needs of the homeless/poor of our community through Project Food. Project Food provides a weekly hot meal and includes a program for the children in a non-threatening, caring environment. There shall be an effort to coordinate services and cooperate with appropriate public agencies and other churches. The program shall include ongoing assessment of needs as well as yearly re-evaluations by the Project Food Board.
Associated with the Student Run Health Clinic: http://www.riversidesrhc.com/