The Emporia Church of Christ, 502 W 12th Ave., who puts on Free Spaghetti Friday recently lost one of their organizers, Virginia “Ginger” Lee Haas who passed on New Year’s Eve. Despite this, Free Spaghetti Fridays will continue.
“When they first started doing it, it might have been 20 or 25 kids, so they were doing tuna casseroles or different things... but now we have a ton more students,” said Brandy Taylor, organizer for Free Spaghetti Fridays.
Free Spaghetti Friday or similar food related dinners have been around for about 15 years according to Neil Taylor, pastor at the Emporia
Church of Christ. These dinners have provided free food for students and community members. The meal used to be hosted out of the Christian Student
Center just off campus but now they have moved it into the church building so they can have more space.
“It’s kind of a safety issue, moving around and mobility issue, getting it set up easier thing,” Brandy said. “For right now we’re going to have it here (the Emporia Church of Christ) on the first and third Friday at 11 a.m.”
“I guess for me it just kind of feels like home, like my mom always makes homemade desserts, so coming every first and third Friday reminds me of home,” said Karoline Kennedy, junior business administration major.
Students aren’t the only people who are benefiting from having these dinners, members of the church are too.
“I just love that I’ve gotten to know a lot of college students, in our time here and build relationships,” Neil said. “The more we get to build relationships, the more we get to share God and share Jesus with the students that want to know, but also just to build lasting friendships.”
International students and foreign exchange students are also participating in activities like this and reaping their benefits.
“We’ve had students from all over the globe come and help us whether that be with preparation for the meals or clean up, just being apart of it and it’s been awesome,” Neil said.
The involvement of more diverse and different students has been something that the church has welcomed and enjoyed.
“Even though they don’t go to church here, it’s still really cool to have that interaction, especially with international students, learning and hearing different languages and getting to see other cultures is really neat,” Brandy said
Free Spaghetti Friday is open to anyone on the first and third Friday of every month from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Emporia Church of Christ.