Share our Supper

If you know much about me, you know I love food. I love to eat it, cook it, explore new places to find it, share it, give it, serve it, you name it. I’ve done blog posts on it many times, Instagram photos of it every week or so, write tweets, enter all kinds of contests (and sometimes win), have parties to cook and eat, find new recipes and sign up for email lists and rewards.

Because I do love food so much, it is a great way for me to serve God. He wants us to use the things we enjoy to bring Him joy, too. Like I said in a previous post on this blog, meals are a great time to fellowship with others as well. My mom works in the office at an elementary school, and she comes home with some of the saddest stories. Many kids eat all they can at school in the cafeteria because they know that they probably won’t get another meal until they come back the next day. They’re so hungry and can’t do anything about it. Over longer breaks like weekends and holidays, that’s even longer to go with little to no food. Knowing these personal stories and considering how much this simple aspect of life is so important both mentally and physically, it draws me to feel compassion for them.

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Many people, especially younger children, don’t talk about this home situation, so many of us may not even realize that someone close to us may be suffering. Hunger is something very real in every community. Though we live in Nashville, a seemingly “fancy” place to live, there are hungry people around every corner, maybe even on yours.
2016-09-19-18-01-37Here at school, we have an awesome cafeteria with great food and so many options every day. Their health score is posted on the wall as being a 100, and I believe it. As part of complying with health regulations, they are required to dispose of almost every bit of leftover food at the end of the day. Most people don’t know this nor do they realize how much food is left each day. It’s an enormous amount. Imagine how many people this food could help. Well, that’s what a group of students did in recent years. Lipscomb now has a club called Share Our Supper that works with the cafeteria to collect leftover food twice a week to take to the Nashville Food Project. We get the food from the caf, load it in a car and drive to NFP, weigh and record the amounts of food, and that’s it! So simple and so beneficial. The organization takes all the food they receive and redistributes it to other organizations and people in the area who are in need of food.

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This organization is located on Hillsboro Pike, a central, easy-to-locate place. They take donations from anyone as well as grow their own food in a garden in behind the building. All they receive is used to benefit those living here in Nashville. Volunteers are always welcome! Their website provides great information about all they do and how you can contact them and get involved. If you would like to be involved with Share Our Supper, contact Sarah Wagner at sjwagner@mail.lipscomb.edu.

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Other than the food collection and delivery, we also lead other projects on campus such as the End it with Orange campaign and food drive, where one week we collected canned foods partnering with No Kid Hungry. We also plan to host a dinner for some of the school faculty and cafeteria workers, among other things.

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College caf is my social life

When you are a student athlete, you have little time for anything else. Having a college schedule that requires physically being in class only a couple hours a day is a life-saver, but there are so many more things to do than when you were a dependent living at home and in high school. I am involved in more than just what is required and try to have time for myself as well as fun things, too. This is kind of what that looks like:  practice, class, chapel, church on Sunday nights, team Bible study on Mondays, team meetings, weight room workouts, dorm meetings, daily things like studying, packing and unpacking bags, required study hall hours at certain places within certain times, all the things that just come up like more meetings, assignments, mandatory class outings and programs to attend, doctor’s appointments, etc. Sometimes you have to go to the store to buy snacks and real food (especially if you don’t have unlimited meal plan), soap, paper, Band-Aids and things like that. With all the traffic, it takes longer to get places, requires more gas, both of which require more time. Don’t forget to take a shower, wash your face, shave, do your laundry, take out the trash, eat, sleep and call your mom. Think that sounds busy? That’s just the things we have to do. There’s also team devotional, dorm festivities, clubs, service work, personal Bible study and little projects that we all just like to do for pleasure. Nashville is a tourist city, so you have to go out and have some fun, too. It’s healthy to get out. Due to all this business, sometimes I feel like I never see any people. The days fly by, which is fun, but that can also make you feel like you don’t have interaction with the people you have come so close to! That is why those extra activities are so important. These college years are blessings from God as a time to get away from what we’ve always known and experience new things and new people. School is important, but it shouldn’t overwhelm us to the point of misery. That is why I look forward to dinner every day. Not only does the Bison Cafe have some of the best food ever, I also have an unlimited meal plan, so I can go in there as often as I want, and our team is so big, I can almost always count on someone I know being in there. To double that, the guys team are just as fun and friendly as the girls, and I need them. They eat more, and so do I. (And I’m slow.) You also aren’t allowed to take your backpack in, so that keeps you from trying to stress over homework at least for a little while.

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Whether it is just a few or one of our big “family meals” where we have so many in there at once we pull up tables together and take up a whole section, there is no doubt there is good fellowship. We always say that we spend way too much time in there. We always end up having such a great time that we don’t want to leave! There have been nights that some of us have stayed in there talking well past closing time when there’s not even any food left.

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I don’t think that the good feelings at the dinner table are just coincidence either. I believe that God gave us mealtime as a time to fellowship with each other, relax and appreciate what we have and the people around us. The Bible even says so.

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and prayers.”  Acts 2:42

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“All who believed were together and had many things in common. They were…distributing proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all people.”  Acts 2:44-47

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One of Jesus’s most important times was with His closest friends at a meal.
“And He took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them saying, ‘This is my body, which is given to you. Do this in remembrance of Me.'”
Food is not only good and necessary, but it is a reminder of God’s provision and ultimate sacrifice, something else we can rejoice in at mealtime!

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Jesus also performed many miracles in the context of food and fellowship, such as feeding the 5,000, turning water into wine, helping the disciples catch boatloads of fish, sending manna from heaven and many more.

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“So then, brothers and sisters, when you gather to eat, you should all eat together.”  1 Corinthians 11:33

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“That each may eat, drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil, for this is a gift from God.”  Ecclesiastes 3:13

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No matter how my day has been, I can count on the caf to bring me food that is sweet to my stomach and to my soul.

Where do you go to get away from the stress of school life? If you don’t, what could you do to have this time?