Free meals are certainly a good way to help a community out, and we witness this kindness time and time again. An Anatolian restaurant has fed people for free for about 70 years now. The city of New York makes free meals for their schoolchildren. Even Pizza Hut delivers free pizzas to hurricane victims via kayak.
Manna Cafe CI was started by Fran and Bill Lytle in 2017 as a means of combatting food insecurity and providing a comfortable place for elderly people and the rest of the community to find fellowship.
On the first Monday, the café served 16 guests. Currently, they’re serving over 350 guests each week.
Everyday, Bill makes meals that his family loves — always consisting of a main course, vegetables, tossed green salad, and dessert. But now, every Monday, he gets to prepare the love-filled free lunches for much more people in town.
Manna Cafe CI also delivers almost 50 free lunches per week to people who cannot leave their homes, in addition to the hundreds and hundreds that visit the facility. At various moments in the year, the cafe also hosts other fun giveaways such as free school supplies for kids in August, or putting up a donation-based store in the holiday season to help guests get gifts for their loved ones.
The Lytles encourage youth to volunteer at the cafe so they can garner more experience to work with ministries like Manna Cafe CI in the future. In addition to the youth having fun meeting and interacting with the guests, the guests say that the place is full of extra joy when the youth participates.
Just this year, the couple received the 2018 Good Samaritan award from the Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives. And it’s very well-deserved. After all, the Lytles truly have an inspiring way to spread the bite — I mean, um, spread the light.