Serving Des Moines every 5th Tuesday


Wesley Homes Des Moines is uniting the Des Moines community through 5th Tuesday Dinners at the Des Moines United Methodist Church. The 5th Tuesday Dinners are free meals for the community. The food is provided and prepared by Wesley Homes Executive Chef Chuck Chalfant and his culinary team and served by Wesley Homes’ volunteer staff. Spearheaded by Wesley Homes’ Lynn Stapleton, Community Relations Representative, and Bernie Dorsey, Director of Outreach, the 5th Tuesday Dinners have served over 150 people since October 2013, including neighboring churches, Des Moines Library patrons, Des Moines Activity Center clients, community members, Wesley Homes’ residents and anyone who needs a helping hand. Lynn, a lay leader at the church, sets up access to the church and kitchen and guides everyone in setting up for the meal and cleaning up afterward. “She makes sure we leave everything looking like we were never there,” said Bernie, who is responsible for generating the volunteers and transporting the prepared food. He anticipates 300 meals will be served this year by Wesley Homes. “There’s a segment of the community that really relies on these dinners,” said Bernie, “and we’re able to help them. For Wesley Homes and our volunteers — people like Peg Ogilvie, Theresa Hile and Peggy Kerns — helping others is a feel good thing.” Dinners were served at the church every Tuesday except for the fifth Tuesday of a month. Kris Van Gaskin, Des Moines Food Bank director, mentioned to Lynn how nice it would be if meals could be served on the fifth Tuesdays, too. Thus began 5th Tuesday dinners and a partnership between the church and Wesley Homes. “We are excited and pleased to work with Wesley Homes to feed the hungry people in our community,” said Pastor Roger W. Barr of Des Moines UMC. “The dinners are also a wonderful way for people to get together, and everyone benefits from them. They really draw people together in a deeper way. Plus, they bring a corporation, a church and a community together.” “These dinners are an opportunity to come and just share in community with neighbors you know and those you’re soon to meet,” said Lynn. “Food is a great way to connect.”

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