200,000 meals served Community dinner reaches milestone

March 2019 Posted in Other

By Nancy Jennings

Feb. 20 was a special evening. Silverton’s First Christian Church served its 200,000th meal at their Wednesday Community Dinner. With the dining area decorated with seven white star-shaped balloons, the momentous occasion took place close to 5:30 p.m. while the chicken pot pie was being served.

“The place was packed. While we were eating and chatting, we experienced the lights in the dining area flashing off and on. So, we were all wondering ‘is this an electrical storm going on outside?’” one dinner guest recounted. ”Then we noticed several of the servers at the serving line banging on large metal pot covers with large metal ladles. Pastor Steve Knox was standing at the guest line as people came inside. He was joyful – and began to tell us that this person right next to him was the 200,000th meal served. He also joked that this special guest’s ‘picture would be on the cover of People magazine.’ Everybody had a good laugh.”

Pastor Knox was thrilled being a part of the experience. He explained that the dinner plates are carefully stacked and counted in groups of 50 – and have been since the Community Dinner officially began in November 2008.

“This deserved taking a moment,” he said. “This was not a plain white plate. It was a special one that had its own special design on the edges. We had balloons with ‘200,000’ written on them spread around the room tied to cans of food. That was a nice touch.”

Cherry Hoffman, whom Pastor Knox humorously referred to as the event’s dinner plate “statistician,” said the total for that night surpassed expectations.

“Our final count was 200,300 meals,” she said. “We had 98 to go to reach 200,000 – and we ended up serving 398.”

The person who enjoyed the chicken pot pie – and some raucous celebratory attention – from that “200,000th” designated plate wishes to remain anonymous.

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