Ministry Outreach Provides Hot Meals to Garrett Students



If it’s Thursday, Garret College students know that some good friends will be serving a free hot nutritious lunch for them in the Laker Café. Courtesy of the Youth Ministry from the Loch Lynn Church of God in Oakland, GC students will be invited to enjoy traditional favorites like homemade vegetable soup, sloppy Joes, macaroni and cheese, brownies, cupcakes, and chocolate chip cookies.


This outpouring of generosity began a few years ago when Youth Ministry Pastors Shane and Rhonda Skipper visited the college campus to bring lunch to several of their church group members who were students at GC. “I would make a pot of soup to take to the college and after we ate we would share what was left with other students. They seemed to appreciate that. What we noticed is that many students were hungry and didn’t have money for food. So I asked a friend who loves to cook if she would also make a pot of soup, too, so we could take even more,” Rhonda explained.

From those first visits with pots of soup the student meal program has grown in scope to include all members of the Garrett College community “By the time we started to feed more and more students the word had spread about what we were doing, and more people wanted to be part of the effort,” Rhonda said.

Barbara Shaffer, Barbie Sweitzer, and Patti Paugh now volunteer their services cooking the food to be served each Thursday to Garrett College students. Now in the fifth semester of providing lunches, the Loch Lynn Church of God has served well over 1000 free meals to students. Helping to serve the meals each week are various Youth Ministry members.

“We all have opportunities that God gives us to make a real difference in the lives of people around us,” Rhonda said. “We are grateful to be able to serve at the college and are thankful for the positive and long lasting relationships we have formed with the Garrett College staff and student body. We look forward to our time there each Thursday.”

Dr. George W. Brelsford, GC Dean of Student Life, praised the work of those who provide lunch for students. “Feeding people is a great way to tell them you care about them.  We are truly blessed to have the wonderful people from the Loch Lynn Church of God on the campus each week visiting with our students while providing them with a wholesome great tasting meal.   Here at Garrett College we take great pride in caring for our students but I think the folks from the Loch Lynn Church of God have out done us,” he sais.

From the lines that form to take part in the Thursday luncheons, one can assume that the outreach by the Youth Ministry is also greatly appreciated by the Garrett College students. Though the semester is winding down, the Skippers and other members of the Loch Lynn Church of God will be returning to the Laker Café in the Fall.