The Community Meal was the brainchild of former parishioner Jack Hanstein and his wife, Kerry Jo. With the help of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew (the men’s group of St. Paul’s), the Feed My Sheep meal began in August 1998. A hot meal was served to anyone who came through our doors (initially about 25 people) and continues to this day. We survived for many years on donations alone. Today we have a small line item in the St. Paul’s budget, we receive items from the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano County, and still depend on donations from within and outside the church. We serve 120 – 150 meals every Wednesday to our neighbors and anyone else who happens by. Many of our parishioners have and continue to volunteer in many ways regarding the meal; by cooking, cleaning, serving, shopping, putting dishes away, doing the food bank pickup on Mondays, by donating time and money. Somewhere along the way, the meal morphed into the Community Meal as it is referred to now.

            Personally, I began with the ministry 10 months after its inception and will retire in June after participating for 20 years.  I began as a prep cook, cooked alone for two years, and have served as the coordinator for the program until now. I want to see this ministry continue, the need still exists, but it is time for me to pass the (chef’s) hat, if you will. It has been a blessing to have served our neighbors and a highlight of my time here at St. Paul’s. 
           Please come talk to me if you are interested in learning what we do. The position as coordinator is not difficult, and I would be glad to explain what I do, and it would be great if 2 or three people wanted to work together as a team. The Community Meal is the largest and longest running outreach program we have at St. Paul’s. Please help me be Jesus’ hands in the heart of Benicia and continue to help our neighbors in need.
Debi Hall – 747-9352