CityEdge Church provides Thanksgiving meals for community

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison - Park News | Published November 29, 2018


HAZEL PARK — Every year since 2011, CityEdge Church in Hazel Park has rallied volunteers to prep meals for those in need. The tradition continued in 2018 with another successful distribution.

“Our first year, we had just 12 meals distributed, and we thought that was great. But over the years, God has brought us more and more families and needs to us, and by his help we have had the opportunity and resources to fill them all,” said Craig Brundage, pastor at CityEdge. “There were several years where we thought we’d run out of prepared food, but each time God stretched our specific dish, and we had enough to feed each person. It’s been nothing short of miraculous.”

This year, the church was able to serve more than 50 meals feeding 225 people. Last year was the largest in the program’s history, totaling 64 meals for families and individuals.

The program has two components. Some families prefer to prepare their own meals, so for them there were meals ready to be cooked, including a full turkey with all of the fixings and sides, along with a pumpkin pie and whipped cream. For smaller families and individuals who prefer to have someone else do the cooking, the volunteers put everything together so that it was available the afternoon before Thanksgiving.

“Our church members graciously sacrifice to provide all the canned goods, pies and resources needed for these meals,” Brundage said. “Without them, this would not be possible.”

He noted that the volunteers shop at Kroger, and that the store has been very cooperative, helping them pick up the turkeys, fresh produce and other supplies needed to fill each order. In addition, the volunteers have partnered with First United Methodist Church of Hazel Park in the past, as well as area businesses including Country Boy Restaurant. Brundage also thanked the Hazel Park District Library and the Hazel Park Recreation Center for receiving applications for the dinners.

“We honestly see this as an opportunity to share God’s goodness with others. Knowing that he has blessed us, we in turn want to share his goodness and blessing with others,” Brundage said. “And during this Christmas season, we realize that God has out-given us all, as we celebrate the gift of Jesus Christ. Knowing God loves us and cares enough to give us the very best, his son, motivates us to share his love and trust with others.”    

Becky Hayman, a member of the church, said that the program is a joy for all involved.

“We had a blast packing 31 full meals for 31 families in the Hazel Park, Madison Heights and Warren area,” Hayman said, adding that in addition to the turkey, fixings and desserts, there was also a recipe book included with each bundle. “Families ranged from four to 10 people — yes, we had three families of nine and one family of 10. We delivered these the Sunday before Thanksgiving, so people were sure they got what they were promised — and to get them excited about the holiday!”

Then, on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, the volunteers delivered the cooked meals.

“We packaged 21 meals for the families of three or less and hand-delivered them. Those meals were all cooked for them — that way, all they had to do is warm up the meals and their homes would smell like Thanksgiving,” Hayman said.

Among the recipients was a woman waiting for her daughter and granddaughter to arrive via bus from the Upper Peninsula. She had to move to the metro Detroit area to get medical help for her kidney disease.

“She was overwhelmed,” Hayman said. “This is the seventh year we’ve done this, and I think every year it’s exciting for all of us at CityEdge to be able to provide. God always comes through.”

CityEdge Church is located at 23136 Hughes Ave. in Hazel Park and can be reached by calling (248) 765-4361.