Outreach, Ministry and Soul Food for the Hungry and Homeless
By LaDarius Calhoun
Several churches and community volunteers are on a mission to provide nutritious hot meals to the hungry and homeless of Tallahassee.
Their mission started almost a year ago, when Raymond Isham set out to give back to the community with an outreach he calls “Soul Food.” Soul Food provides hot meals to the hungry and homeless every Friday in Frenchtown and at Lake Ella.
“Soul Food” was initially served during lunch on Mondays, with dinner on Fridays, “but just like anything, the homeless climate and population changes so we found that Friday evenings are a bit better,” Isham said.
Whichever day of the week it is, the Soul Food outreach program appears to satisfy the needs of the less fortunate.
Under a pavilion at Lake Ella on any given Friday evening, a line of people can be seen gratefully waiting to be served a hot meal, a cool drink and dessert.
Out of the goodness of his heart, Isham who acclaims to be “no chef,” prepares the several plates full of food for those who can’t bear the burden for themselves. But even Isham couldn’t do such a great deed alone. On Fridays, Soul Food is joined by community volunteers, high school students and community churches.
Some of the churches include: Tallahassee Foursquare Church, Capital City Church of God, New Covenant Church, First Baptist Church and St. Peter’s Anglican Church.
Isham describes the Soul Food outreach as a type of “ministry” that has always touched his heart and a reflection of his past.
“The Soul Food outreach came about out of my own struggle,” Isham said. “I found myself in a place of unemployment and was literally on the verge of being homeless. I’ve always had a heart for this outreach, this type of ministry.”
Isham said that there is no word that could really explain what it means to feed the hungry and homeless.
“It’s all about doing for others, as you want them to do for you,” Isham said.
Jamison Wood, a high school student, volunteers with Soul Food every Monday and Friday because the “homeless” conversation is closer to home to him than others.
“I do it because my dad used to be homeless before I was born,” Wood said.
A bite of soul food isn’t hard to come by for Nicodemus McClary, a homeless man who enjoyed a meal from the Soul Food outreach for the first time.
“I think they do a very good job feeding the homeless and it was good,” McClary said.
The Soul Food outreach program welcomes the community and volunteers to lend a hand in service every Monday and Friday as they feed the hungry and homeless.