99Tahlequah Feed My Sheep is an all-volunteer organization, which provides nutritious meals for the hungry every Thursday from 5-6 p.m. All meals are served at the First United Methodist Church Activities Building at 301 W.Delaware. Guests use the south entrance.

Over 60 volunteers perform myriad duties to be of service to more than 150 guests each week. Energy is focused on providing community for one another. Long before the guests arrive on Thursday, the head chef for the evening selects the menu, purchases the groceries, and prepares the food with his or her assistants. Tables and chairs are placed, the tables set, and beverages prepared by volunteers.

At Feed My Sheep guests and volunteers alike wear first name nametags. Guests are greeted and seated at round tables, each with a volunteer table host who makes sure needs are met and conversation flows. Meals are served restaurant-style, with volunteers waiting on assigned tables; there is no standing and waiting in line.

At meal’s end, guests select from a variety of homemade desserts, prepared and plated by volunteers, and presented on a dessert tray. On the last Thursday of the month, birthdays are celebrated with birthday badges, a giant birthday cake, candles, wishes, and vociferous singing.

Separate teams of volunteers clear tables, scrape dishes, wash pans and dishes, clean up the dining room and
kitchen, and put away all tables and chairs. Leftovers are immediately shared with local shelters.

Tahlequah Feed My Sheep began service on July 14, 2011, following five months of planning. Volunteers from five area churches formed to make the initial ecumenical ministry: First United Methodist, St. Basil’s Episcopal, First Christian, First Presbyterian, and First Baptist. Later volunteers from St. Brigid’s Catholic, D. D. Etchieson Methodist, Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Cornerstone Fellowship, Grace Baptist, and other churches and faith traditions became involved.

When partnerships were formed with Northeastern State University Departments of Health Professions and Social Work, Tahlequah High School, Kiwanis Club, NEO Health, and We Go Global, Feed My Sheep evolved into a community organization. In recent years, the Tahlequah Area Coalition for the Homeless has provided meals for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s.

Tahlequah Feed My Sheep is totally dependent on donations. Tahlequah First United Methodist Church handles all fiduciary responsibilities.

To donate: make checks payable to Tahlequah First United Methodist Church and put “Feed My Sheep” in the notation line. This will direct your contribution to the proper account.

Mail to Feed My Sheep: Tahlequah FUMC, 300 W. Delaware St., Tahlequah, OK 74464.

For more information or to volunteer, contact Janet Stucky at (918)456-6141