The Caring Ministry of Epworth United Methodist Church dedicated a new 180-square-foot walk-in refrigerator/freezer unit Sept. 3. The unit is for use by the Caring Ministry’s many programs that help feed the homeless and needy residents of the Rehoboth Beach, Dewey Beach and Lewes areas of Sussex County. The new refrigerator/freezer will allow for more storage of cold and frozen foods, and the purchase of these items in larger quantities. The installation of the unit was made possible through the generosity of many people within the church and local community. Senior Pastor the Rev. Vicky Starnes, Associate Pastor the Rev. Dr. Pat Loughlin and the leaders of the Caring Ministry will preside over the dedication. Local vendors who support the food programs at Epworth will be recognized for their contribution along with the vendors who moved and installed the unit. The church looked at the cost of purchasing a new unit and could not afford it; then someone called and said they’d like to donate one, all that was needed to do was come get it. The local vendors who help support the Caring Ministry are Safeway, Giant in Rehoboth Beach and Ocean View, and Fifer Orchards in Dewey Beach, who were recognized at the dedication.
Epworth runs many programs that help to feed the needy and forgotten members of the local community. The spring 2013 Beach Area Homeless Survey revealed 86 people living in tents and in their cars in the Rehoboth and Lewes ZIP codes. Many more people cannot afford to eat a nutritional meal each day. The people of Epworth want to make a difference for these people - and they are doing many things to help those in need.
One of the groups of the church is known as thekitchen@epworth. Each Sunday, thekitchen@epworth serves up a hot meal to nearly 100 people who come to the soup kitchen between 2:30 and 4 p.m. Also, during the summer months, between 100 and 200 people come on Tuesday evenings for the International Student Outreach Program supper, also served up by thekitchen@epworth members along with others from local churches and the local synagogue.
In addition to these meal programs, the Good Samaritan Ministry runs a food pantry that is accessed by an average of 12 families each day - 24 bags of groceries are given out. This ministry also provides emergency financial assistance to local people who need help paying essential services bills.