Every Wednesday from 11:30 am – 1:00 pm, area residents from all walks of life gather around tables at the Swannanoa United Methodist Church to enjoy a free, home-cooked meal. The Swannanoa Welcome Table began in 2004 as a small soup kitchen, and has since evolved into a Swannanoa institution that serves up a full course meal to 75 – 125 people every week. The Welcome Table is a cooperative effort of several local churches, and the food is prepared and served by community volunteers.
Some of the food served at the Welcome Table comes from MANNA Food Bank. Food is also acquired though a variety of other sources, including donations from home vegetable gardeners and from the Swannanoa and Black Mountain Community Gardens. A special effort is made to include as much fresh produce as possible in the weekly menus.
As the name "Welcome Table" implies, everyone is welcome. Many people return week after week to enjoy the delicious food and visit with old and new friends. The lunch is free, but donations can be made to help support the ministry.
In addition to serving up a nutritious meal each week, the Welcome Table maintains a "Medical Closet" that provides wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, and other medical equipment to anyone who lives in the Swannanoa Valley. During each of the Wednesday lunches, volunteer nurses are on hand to do free blood pressure checks, and cholesterol screenings are offered every three months for a reasonable fee.
For more information about the Swannanoa Welcome Table, please call the Swannanoa United Methodist Church at 686-5284. The church is located at 216 Whitson Avenue.