Come dine with us: RTHS group treats community to a meal

RANTOUL — More than 300 members of the community came together over food and fellowship Thursday evening.

The occasion was the annual community meal sponsored by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in the Rantoul Township High School cafetorium. All the food was free.

It marked the third year for the annual event. While about 325 members of the community came out to partake, about 400 plates were served when counting volunteers, according to FCA huddle leader Trisha Freeman.

The organization received help from the boys track team, varsity boys basketball team, National Honor Society, the Interact Club and individual students such as a class taught by Dede Graham. RTHS Principal Todd Wilson and nephew Tyler Wilson smoked all the meat.

Freeman enjoys the chance for the community to get together — some of whom might not normally come to such a gathering, including some homeless.

“We do see (people) who could use a warm meal,” the huddle leader said. “That kind of hit home. We have some elderly that come, and one or both of them were Rantoul grads, and they come back and they enjoy the meal.

Freeman added: “We saw families come in. I saw single moms with their kids come in. A bus full of people with seniors came. And we saw some families of kids in our school. I know there was one dad and son came (after) one of the elementary schools had a program.”

Freeman said she believes one reason people attend is that it’s an “inviting atmosphere.”

For the organizers and volunteers, she said the meal is a chance to “kind of love on people.”

“It’s amazing what a five-minute conversation over a meal ... can do for someone. Most of them are very very appreciative. They will go out of their way to say ‘thank you.’”

Funding for the free meal comes from Rantoul Rotary (both as a club and as individuals), plus businesses, the booster club and several teachers.

Freeman said the community meal came about after she returned from a mission trip to Ecuador. It got her to thinking about how to help those who need it, and suggested the community meal to a friend of hers who at that time was the FCA huddle leader.

The club has 25-30 members. It takes a commitment to attend the weekly meetings because of the early hour they are held. Meetings begin at 7 a.m. Fridays at the high school. Freeman said everyone is welcome.

dhinton@rantoulpress.com

Categories (2):News, Living

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ellen david wrote on April 10, 2017 at 7:04 am

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RoseMaria wrote on April 22, 2017 at 6:04 am

I have heard a lot about this get-together. Very happy to know that meals are arranged for all those who are attending this event. I would like to be a part of this event so please provide more details about it such as its exact time and venue. learn spanish online

RoseMaria wrote on May 25, 2017 at 6:05 am

I felt very happy to know about the annual community meal sponsored by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. I would like to attend it so please provide more details about it such as its time, date and venue. Thank you. www.americanimprovers.com

michel wrote on May 25, 2017 at 6:05 am

Such events are very good for supporting the poor and helpless people in that region. I give my full support to the organizers for their huge efforts. Hope everyone enjoyed the meal as all the food was free. professional picture editing

RoseMaria wrote on October 16, 2017 at 8:10 am

Feeling very excited to know about this dining treat. Could you please share its time and location? If so, I can attend it. Hospitals In Thrissur