Our Belfry Barbecue Day Wrap-up!
During the Spring semester earlier this year, Portia and myself (Lachlan) began our ministry of providing free meals for students of Sacramento City College. With SCC located right across the street, All Saints' building is the perfect host venue for these outreach efforts. "The Belfry @ SCC" has returned for the Fall 2023 semester, and last Wednesday we hosted our kickoff barbecue lunch.
We heard many of the same stories from students on this day that we did during last semester's events - that there is a lack of healthy and affordable dining options on the Sac City campus in its post-Covid state, that there is a general lack of resources available to the many students at SCC who are low-income and who may be busy with jobs and/or children, and that for a number of these students, this barbecue was the only way they were going to have lunch that day, or was even the only meal they would get to eat at all that day.
This lunch was a "taco bar" style affair, with taco and burrito-sized tortillas at the head of the table for students to build their lunch with. It featured cilantro-lime rice, pinto beans, shredded chicken, and our headline protein - a homemade carne asada. We had the full spread of toppings available to dress things with as well - lettuce and cheese, red and green salsa, sour cream and guacamole, and a seriously spicy homemade habanero salsa that was not for the faint of heart.
Highlight feedback included, "that's exactly how my grandma makes it," and a student who'd failed to heed the posted advice joking, "man, you need to put a warning sign on that salsa!" before realizing, with some teasing from his friends, that we had done exactly that. In total, we served right about 65 meals, which was a little down from the previous Spring semester, but in line with our hopeful expectations as we begin rebuilding the campus awareness of our presence. Moving forward, we will continue to host slightly smaller-scale, more casual lunches for SCC Students on every Wednesday throughout the Fall semester, from 11:30-1:00. We will also be putting on one more big barbecue, on October 25th. We look forward to seeing how this ministry will evolve over the coming months!