The Community Café beginnings were in 2009 when two pastors at River Hills Community Church in Lake Wylie suggested opening a free café to help others during the recession. In its current structure, the Community Café is a volunteer run, 501C(3) nonprofit organization, operating out of Lake Wylie Lutheran Church, Lake Wylie Christian Assembly and Sisk Memorial Baptist Church in Fort Mill. In addition, a recently purchased food truck provides food for families in neighborhoods in Fort Mill and Rock Hill that may not be able to travel to the café sites.
Guests may enjoy lunch in-house, order carry out, or both. Bakery items and fresh vegetables are often available for carry out as well. A few months ago, a gentleman was leaving the café on a rainy day with three bags of food. It seemed he didn’t have a vehicle so I asked if I could give him a ride. He was a super nice guy and was very appreciative of the free food. He directed me to a road that I had passed 100 times, but never really looked at. He lives in a camper.
Feeding America indicates that South Carolina has a food insecurity rate of 18%. The total child food insecurity rate is 28%. The National Institute on Aging reports that social isolation and loneliness in older people pose health risks.
On a recent visit to the Community Café at the Lake Wylie Lutheran Church location, my table host served me spaghetti with meatballs, garden salad, a grilled American cheese sandwich, iced tea and dessert. I enjoyed the company of others and felt love from the volunteers. I ordered an extra spaghetti for carry out to go along with my usual to-go grilled cheese. Those grilled cheese sandwiches are good!
Article by: Erick Lake
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