The idea for a soup kitchen originated during a meeting of the clergy from the South Carroll cluster of United Methodist Churches. It started in 1998 as a joint effort between Wesley Freedom United Methodist Church, St. Luke/Mt. Gregory United Methodist Churches, and Bethesda/Zion United Methodist Churches. While serving at a Westminster soup kitchen they met people from the Eldersburg/Sykesville area who were traveling lengthy distances to get a free hot meal. At that time, the only free meal provided in the South Carroll area was a bag lunch given out on Wednesdays by the E.S.C.A.P.E. ministry.
Feed My Sheep began with four churches each serving a Monday meal once a month, with additional churches covering the fifth Monday when necessary. Ebenezer was one of the original four and has provided the meal on the 2nd Monday for the last twenty-two years.
As the guests were much appreciative of the program, and other churches expressed their interest in participating, Feed My Sheep soon added Friday to the schedule. Thursday was eventually added as a serving day as well. What once began as a Methodist out-reach, soon became an interdenominational mission.
We currently have ten churches preparing meals at the FMS soup kitchen. Besides Ebenezer United Methodist, other churches currently participating in the soup kitchen are Springfield Presbyterian, St. Joseph’s Catholic Community Catholic Daughters, Brandenburg United Methodist, Wesley Freedom United Methodist, Deer Park United Methodist, St. Paul’s United Methodist, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Wards Chapel United Methodist and Taylorsville United Methodist.
Ebenezer FMS team members meet at 10:30am in the kitchen at Wesley Freedom United Methodist Church to prepare and serve lunch at 12:00 noon. Some of our guests arrive on the Carroll Area Transit System’s bus, operated by Ride With Us. Most other guests drive but some walk. Each church has its own menu that is repeated each month. This arrangement keeps a varied fare for our guests and makes it easier for the helpers.
Ebenezer’s menu includes a beef, cheese and macaroni main dish, green beans, fresh or canned fruit, bread, dessert and beverage. We regularly get donations of bread and dessert from the Eldersburg Panera Bread and Martin’s Supermarket.
Adult volunteers are welcome anytime and student volunteers in 6th grade or higher can earn community service hours during their summer vacation. There is a limit of two student volunteers at a time.