-by Amy Reynolds
On October 24, 2019 Dinner on 17th Street directors, Tim & Amy Reynolds, along with PFC senior Pastor Steve Schulze, met with cook & serve team leaders to announce the future of the Dinner on 17th Street program. Dinner on 17th Street is a free weekly meal, served to the community each Thursday at the First Baptist Church in Parsons, which has been active for over 10 years.
The Reynolds’ stepped into the leadership role in the fall of 2016, when Barry Johnson, associate pastor at Parsons Foursquare Church, became ill and couldn’t continue his leadership with Dinner on 17th Street. Reynolds had worked with Johnson for many years, both as part of the development and the serving at Dinner on 17th Street.
Reynolds shared that two of the biggest struggles for the Dinner on 17 are finding enough volunteer groups to commit to cooking and serving through the year, and financially funding the cost of providing a free weekly community meal. While they have received a PACF grant for the past two years for the paper goods used each week at the meal, there are many other costs associated with the service.
Reynolds announcement stated that these two issues were factors in their decision to step down and close Dinner on 17th Street at the end of 2019. The free community meal will be served through the month of November (with the exception of November 7 & 28) and December, with the last meal being served on December 19, 2019.
Dinner on 17th Street patrons were informed of such changes at the meal served on October 31 and they posted a closure message on their Facebook page for those who were not in attendance.