The Antioch Kitchen Sisters have been serving their neighbors with a free Wednesday meal since 2012, bolstered mainly by willing volunteers and random financial and food donations. Based out of Antioch United Methodist Church in Garland, the Kitchen Sisters prepare and deliver a weekly meal, snack pack, friendship, prayer, and special message to any person needing some assistance in their small rural community regardless of race, age, gender, nationality, religious preference or political leanings.
The program was the dream of sisters Emily Coble and Carlene McIntyre after they retired. Realizing that there was no Meals-on-Wheels program in the Cypress Creek Township of Bladen County, they asked county officials about the possibility of organizing one and were told that there were no county funds for such a project. The sisters discussed how they could continue to make a difference in their community and Antioch Kitchen Sisters was born.
Kitchen Sisters are blessed to be able to use the facilities at their home church of Antioch UMC to prepare the meals with a few faithful volunteers but the church is not able to assist in funding the program outside of providing the kitchen space, gas, and electricity. Each delivered package includes a meal of meat, carbohydrate, and vegetable with an accompanying snack pack consisting of a peanut butter sandwich, fruit, and dessert delivered in reusable containers. They average distributing 54 meals each week.
Antioch Kitchen Sisters is an amazing example of how a small-membership church can have a huge impact in their community with vision and creativity. The program has been able to continue serving through the pandemic with random donations of $5, $10, or $20 and a few larger donations. If you would like to help Antioch Kitchen Sisters, donations are appreciated and may be mailed to Antioch UMC, 4404 NC Hwy. 210 W, Garland, NC 28441, designated for Antioch Kitchen Sisters on the memo line.
The Antioch Kitchen Sisters began as part of the church’s involvement in IMPACT, a rural church development program of the Center for Leadership Excellence partially funded by The Duke Endowment and led by the Rev. Francis Daniel.