Our main goal is to feed the children a nutritious meal four days a week while proclaiming the message of Jesus Christ. Before every meal, the children join hands in a circle and pray. They often request prayers for their family members.
Over the years, Asbury United Methodist Church watched its neighborhood change from middle income families to very low income families. Currently, our children live in the area of Springfield that suffers from the highest percent of child poverty. The Children's Supper hour began in 1983 as a way to meet the need for an after school/summer nutritional meal program for the neighborhood children. Our mission is to provide meals and activities in a safe, nurturing Christian environment while responding to the spiritual and social needs of the children. All children are made to feel welcome and special.
The children come from the two lowest income tracts in Springfield. For children not in school and during the summer, when the school lunch programs are not available, this meal may represent the only meal they get during the day. In addition, there are few activities in the neighborhood for the children. Gangs, violence and drug dealers are more prevalent than positive role models.
Many of our children are from broken homes with parents who have serious addictions. Many of the children suffer from neglect as well as from hunger. Hugs and attention are just as important to these children as the meal. The positive attention the children receive at our site helps enhance their self-esteem. Children with a healthy self-image are less likely to fall into the trap of drug use and crime.