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Churches pitch in for Unity Feast

BY HEATHER COX - hcox@h-ponline.com

Love in the Name of Christ (Love INC) will be hosting the 9th annual Unity Feast Sunday, August 19 from 11 a.m. until 2 with the help of area churches. 

The dinner will take place at the First Merchants Heritage Hall at the Huntington County Fairgrounds and will cost $8.50 or $4 for ages 10 and younger. The menu will include pork or chicken and noodles, mashed potatoes, green beans, a salad -- either cole slaw or jello salad -- a drink and a piece of pie.

This annual event got its start when the former Love INC director Bill Fetro attended a Thrivent insurance group meeting when they asked how they could help what he was doing for those in need.

Joyce Gravley, a volunteer with the Unity Feast and member of St. Peter Lutheran, was one in attendance at that meeting.

She went on to explain that the group held a chicken dinner to raise money for Love INC and when it was a success, Fetro decided he wanted to continue having the event -- but to include even more churches.

Now, Gravley said they have 20-25 churches in the county that come together to serve the dinner. She said she is in charge of cooking the 100-110 pounds of pork, which she cooks in five large roasters.

Another church cooks the noodles, one church cooks the chicken, another cooks the mashed potatoes and pies come in as volunteer donations and are then cut and prepared by another church.

The dinner also offers a carry-out option.

Though Thrivent doesn’t match the amount of money made like they did in the past, Gravley said the event still makes a lot of money.

She added that the event used to take place in March, but as of last year they started having it in August.

“I worried about that because I’m worried about serving a hot meal in August. But it does go over really well, and people come out! Tickets are available at a lot of the churches,” she said.

Gravley said they fill the building and a lot of people will come for the meal following church on Sunday.

She has been involved since the beginning, all because she believes it’s worthwhile, as the need is real within the community.

The event is still in need of volunteers which includes ticket takers, servers and dishwashers. Those interested in helping can call Erin Didion at (260)-356-0933.