A retirement party was held on March 25 for Shirley Dickau, coordinator of Meals For The Needy
for the past 32 years.
MFN, Bristol’s oldest soup kitchen, opened its doors on June 28, 1982 and served 10 people. It has grown over the years to meet the increased need and to date has served over 800,000 meals. Currently, meals are served four nights per week. “The success of the program is due mostly to the dedicated volunteers”, Dickau said in a press release, “who represent a wide variety of local churches, schools, civic groups and businesses.”
Pastor Andrew Krey of Maritime Ministries of Savannah, Ga founded MFN while he was pastor of ZionLutheranChurch, which is where MFN is housed. Krey was in attendance at the retirement party and spoke of those early days and of the need at that time, said the press release from MFN. Also in attendance was Bishop James Hazelwood of the New England Synod of the ELCA, who gave accolades to Dickau and the program for fulfilling the needs of the community and doing a great job at it, said the press release.
Besides serving meals Monday through Thursday, the program includes Easter dinner delivered to those in need, a clothing bank, an emergency food pantry, distribution of new jackets, gloves and hats, distribution of turkeys and food baskets for Thanksgiving, distribution of backpacks and back-to-school supplies, Christmas Day dinners served at the facility and delivered to the home bound and it is also a restitution site for the Bristol Juvenile Review Board and the Bristol court system.
MFN is located at ZionLutheranChurch, 27 Judd St., Bristol.
The current coordinator is Cheryl Yetke.