For more than three decades, We Care Meals has fed our community around the holidays entirely through donations.
And the holiday spirit continues this year, takes us to this year’s Christmas-themed feast at Riverview Gardens in Appleton.
“So many times, people forget what it’s like to be alone,” said Ed Rathsack, the founder of We Care Meals. “And it’s a hard time. If I can touch somebody the way people have touched me by doing these meals, it would be awesome and that’s what I’m trying to do.”
A packed hall of strangers is a lot to coordinate.
“I worry about this meal, then it’s done,” he said. “Then, I start worrying about Easter, then it’s done. Then, I start worrying about Christmas again.”
And this feast has the meats.
“We’ve started off with 500lbs of ham, 500lbs of turkey, we’ve got another 300lbs in spare,” said Rathsack.
Along with the meats, they’ve got the volunteers. 250 of them to be exact.
And along with that–they’re delivering dinners to hundreds of households.
“I’m just really grateful to be a part of this,” said Melissa Suttner, a volunteer from Menasha. “Put a smile on someone’s face and make them have a very Merry Christmas.”
We Care Meals has been going on for over 30 years, and as they continue to load up vehicles with food, the main purpose and goal is to show people that they’re not alone this holiday season.
“So, if we can break the mold by bringing them down here for a meal and give them a chance to sit and talk with other people, we do,” said Rathsack.
It is an almost immediate return on investment.
“Listen–they’re talking. People are communicating and actually having fun with each other. We set up like a wedding,” he said. “And just like a wedding–if you’ve ever been to a wedding–he’s going to start talking to you and that’s the whole goal.”
More than a 1,000 meals were served at this year’s Christmas feast.