Hot Meals for Hungry Hearts

A ministry partnership with
Smoky Mountain Area Rescue Ministries


This ministry was created in March 2012 as a result of a strong desire by several Sunday School teachers to be “in action” within the community.  Based on a suggestion by Karen Koerten and her heart-felt desire to teach our youth how to be servant-minded, a partnership was formed with Smoky Mountain Area Rescue Ministries (SMARM).  Discussions began immediately on how to proceed.  In less than a month, the Lord had blessed the efforts of this group and Hot Meals for Hunger Hearts became a reality.  The need for this type of ministry is great in Sevier County as evidenced by the fact that between 45-60 people are currently being served each week.

Karen states that Hot Meals brings to life Matthew 25:44-46, “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’  Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” 

Hot Meals opens its doors each Monday evening from 5:00-6:00 pm to anyone who is hungry and in need of a nutritious meal.  Karen and Angie Goderich are the chief cooks and bottle washers, preparing delicious meals for our neighbors who are struggling.  They are thankful that their husbands, Dr. James Koerten and Richard Goderich, and Cheri Czachowski are eager to help whenever they are available.  

To involve the youth, a volunteer program was developed in coordination with our Youth Ministry.  Each week two different Youth Sunday School classes (one boy’s and one girl’s grades 7-12) are responsible for providing several volunteers to serve the meal, pray with those in need of prayer, and love on those who come in for a meal.  Afterwards, the youth assist in clean up.

With volunteers being such a vital part of this ministry, many opportunities are available for other members to also serve by helping prepare meals, serving food, and making our guests feel welcome.  If you would be interested in serving our community and our neighbors in this way or would like to make a monetary donation to this ministry, please contact Amanda Sweat in the church office.

While this ministry does work in conjunction with SMARM, most of the components for the meals are provided by donations from our members. Anything you can provide will be a blessing!  Donations can be dropped off at the church office.   We can always use:  cream of chicken or mushroom soup, dry pasta (spaghetti, macaroni, egg noodles), chicken quarters, ground beef, salad dressings (Ranch, Italian, Honey Mustard), croutons, canned vegetables (corn, green beans, carrots, etc.), fresh garden vegetables when available particularly tomatoes, canned fruit, shredded cheese, butter, spaghetti sauce, bread and dinner rolls.

If you cannot volunteer or make a donation, please pray for this ministry.  If we are to be the hands and feet of Jesus, we must open our eyes to the suffering in the world and allow our hearts to be broken by those things that break the heart of our Savior.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”  Luke 4:18-19

group shot  Anna


Karen Tina Jacob