‘Dinner in the Streets’ supports Salvation Army feeding programs in Birmingham
By: Brad Rowland
In and around Birmingham, Alabama, The Salvation Army serves food 365 days a year, with more than 120,000 warm meals served in 2018. In mid-August, the Army hosted its second annual “Dinner in the Streets” with an eye toward providing support for its daily efforts.
“Our daily feeding programs and our marketplace food pantry are very important to those we serve,” said Major Charles Powell, Birmingham area commander. “The face of hunger in our city is changing. It’s not just the homeless that wonder how they will find food for their next meal. Hunger can affect people from all walks of life. It’s important for us to spread awareness of food insecurity in Birmingham, and we are thankful to our donors for their support of these important programs.”
With a goal of raising awareness of hunger in the city, 140 guests gathered together around one long community dining table between 14th and 16th streets in Birmingham, enjoying a warm summer night together under the stars. Visitors and donors were greeted with thanks and the assurance that their support goes a long way toward improving life for others.
“You all have heard that internal branding message of The Salvation Army “‘Doing The Most Good,’” said Sherrie LeMier, advisory board chairman. “I can assure you that is what our local command does each and every day, from feeding our hungry neighbors, to disaster relief; shelter for men, women and children; education programs, life skills training and providing a caring embrace for those who have lost their way. And the good work of the Army is made possible by generous donors and community advocates like yourselves.”
The event featured live music from local singer and guitarist Billy Gant, with vibrant fellowship and a pleasurable meal. While the goal of the fundraising dinner was not unique, the outdoor setting and overall execution stood out, and the symbolism of individuals and families from all walks of life coming together at a single table to break bread should not be overlooked.
“It is impossible to calculate with certainty the influence and effect the mission and ministry The Salvation Army has had the past 120 years in Birmingham,” Major Powell said. “Men, women and families have been rescued from various points of crisis. The lives of so many families and individuals have been changed forever. I hope tonight that we are reminded that all people are worth the investment.”