ALLOUEZ — Easter is about new life and renewed hope. Even though we are still dealing with COVID-19 and need to socially distance and mask to protect ourselves and others, there are signs of hope. These include the return of some free Easter meals in the area.
Last year, the various churches and service groups that had normally offered holiday meals had to cancel them after the pandemic was declared on March 11.
This year, some of the holiday meals are back, though they look a bit different than in the past.
The following groups are offering free meals on Easter Sunday, April 4. All are welcome, but reservations and sign-ups are required.
We Care Meals will host its annual Easter Celebration Dinner for noon meals, but will be by delivery only this year. Last year, they canceled the meal entirely due to the pandemic.
“We’re calling this our ‘halfway point meal,’” said organizer Ed Rathsack. “By Christmas, we will be back to a sit-down meal.” (We Care Meals hosts two holiday meals each year.)
Rathsack said there is a great need for volunteer drivers this year — he estimates at least 200. The turkey and ham dinners will be prepared at Riverside Gardens in Appleton. Rathsack doesn’t know how many meals will be delivered, but noted that “Christ the Rock Church delivered over 2,000 meals at Thanksgiving.”
Does he expect that many? “I don’t know, but we’ll make it work,” Rathsack told The Compass.
Reservations are required by noon on Holy Saturday, April 3. Call (920) 358-9671. To volunteer, call (920) 731-7867. Monetary donations can be made to “We Care Meals,” c/o Goodwill Industries, 1800 Appleton Road, Menasha, WI 54952.
Hope Lutheran Church, 700 S. Superior St., will offer Easter breakfast, both in person (7 to 11 a.m.) or for pickup (7 to 11:30 a.m.). For those coming in-person, table reservations are requested, as are masks. To preorder a meal for pickup, fill out a form online at hopedepere.org under the “Easter Breakfast” tab. (Table reservations can be made there also.) Donations are welcome. For more information, call Hannah Zahrte, director of Christian education, at (920) 336-9843 ext. 2.
Hillside Assembly of God, 5890 State Highway 22 W. Easter Breakfast will be at 9 a.m., until the 10 a.m. worship service. Social distancing will be practiced. “Let them know they are welcome,” said Rev. Jonathan Carlson.
New Community Shelter, 301 Mather St., will host Easter meals “with all the fixings” with doorside pickup. Lunch pickup will be 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and dinner pickup from 5 to 6 p.m. No need for reservations.
Father Carr’s Place 2B, 1062 N. Koeller St. (Hwys. 21 and 41), will host its annual Easter Day dinner as a drive-thru from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Reservations are required and must be made by Monday, March 29. Individuals can also request multiple meals for their household and/or neighbors in need when making a reservation. For reservations, call (920) 231-2378. Father Carr’s will also be coordinating one-time group meal deliveries to seven select low-income local apartment complexes. Due to COVID-19, and per health and safety guidelines, there will be no in-person dining or residential deliveries this year. Directions regarding how to access the drive-thru will be posted and visible upon entry of the Father Carr’s campus/parking area.
Hillside Assembly of God North, 2023 County Road Q, will host Easter breakfast at 9 a.m., until the 10 a.m. Easter service. Social distancing will be practiced. All are welcome.
New Life United Methodist Church of Seymour and Cicero, 721 Pleasant Way, will host free carryout or delivery meals from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Reservations are required by March 31. Call (920) 833-7308. Monetary donations are also welcome.