REYNOLDSVILLE — For 19 years, a dedicated group of Reynoldsville volunteers have delivered “tender loving care” dishes of food to people in need.
Carol Wells of Reynoldsville was among the first group of people to start “TLC meals” in February of 2000, she said. The effort operates from First United Methodist Church on Jackson Street.
Four teams of people alternate the preparation and delivery process each week, Wells said. In a month’s time, up to 75 meals can be served, with a limit of about 15 per week. She estimates TLC meals have been served to thousands of people over the years.
“If there’s a need for anyone in the community who has a hard time, we show them love with a warm meal,” she said.
Wells said there are three or four members on each team, and each cooks their own meals. One volunteer will buy the meat or other ingredient, while another makes the dessert.
“We always tell people this is a gift,” she said. “A lot of people appreciate it, and they make donations.”
Wells can remember when her brother-in-law had cancer, and she and her husband would help take care of him, she said.
“I would’ve given anything if, on one of those days, someone would’ve said, ‘We’re going to bring you a warm meal,’” she said. “That’s what I go by. Many times, people are having a rough time and sometimes, the meal lets them know somebody cares.”
FUMC of Reynoldsville has funds built up for TLC meals, Wells said, and is also blessed to receive community donations.
Although they try to stay within the Reynoldsville limits, if there is someone outside of the Borough in need of help, they will go to them, Wells said. TLC meals also offers help to those within the church.
TLC meals have been delivered to cancer victims, Wells said. They can benefit anyone who might be facing a struggle, such as someone who is ill or a new mother. Elderly people look forward to these meals each week, she said.
TLC meals operates through referrals most of the time, she said, but volunteers also touch base with those who have a regular need.
“We’re still going, after all these years,” she said. “As long as God provides the helpers, I will keep going.”