Its lunchtime on a Thursday; which, means it’s time to load the truck up and hit the road. The destination: John Glenn and Peggy Ann Alsup Arbors Residential Center. John Glenn is a part of National Church Residences which provides housing for seniors with low incomes who meet the criteria set by HUD.
When first entering this community, you are greeted with a warm welcome, in the form of a smile, wave, or “Thank You for being here.” Later in the day, one receives more kind words, jokes that turn into laughter, and hugs that turn into friendship. So much so, that the usual one hour lunch run called for more. We decided to add music, games, and fellowship to the mix, turning it into a fun Community Day.
The Nashville Food Project has been serving a weekly lunch for the residents of John Glenn since 2013. Since then, we’ve built deep relationships with the community, and we’ve watched as they have done the same. What began four years ago as residents of two disconnected buildings has become a thriving community where the men and women interact like family. When one wonders what we mean when we say that nourishing food cultivates community, look no further than the incredible community at John Glenn.
On our recent Community Day, we had a balloon race, tunes from Earth Wind and Fire, and a room full of participants in a fun game. The music even led to shaking and dancing. To top it off, this day was a part of National Volunteer Appreciation Week at The Nashville Food Project. Thursday was marked as Backwards Day, and John Glenn Residents decided to join in on the fun. Almost everyone was in backwards clothing! This excitement led to an even greater afternoon.
An hour of sharing the meal and joking around wasn’t enough. Nonetheless, we packed up and headed back to TNFP, leaving John Glenn until the next week. We left with handshakes, hugs, smiles, and “come back soon.”
We’ve joined this community as more than a meal partner. We feel a part of a family that welcomes us to the cookout every Thursday afternoon. Thank you for welcoming us, folks!