Amy Piersma, member of the Ethical Humanist Society of the Triangle
Of the many ethical action opportunities in the Triangle area of North Carolina, for the Ethical Humanist Society of the Triangle (EHST), cooking and serving the evening meal at the Inter-Faith Council (IFC) kitchen once a month has the longest run and involves the greatest number of EHST members and friends.
EHST members Mike Conrad, Mike and Becky Jones, and friends of the Society, Madison and Thom Rexrode
Each year we recommit to this service and have successfully fulfilled our pledge to support the IFC since the early 1990s. EHST supports the IFC as well by donating the first collection of each year to the organization. EHST’s liaison to the IFC board is our member and current AEU President, Jan Broughton. Member Eva Harrington was our crew leader for over twenty years!
Once each month, a crew of four to six cooks prepares food for 70-100 people at the well-equipped kitchen in downtown Chapel Hill. A second group of four to six members and friends arrives to serve the meal.
Many food donations come from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill food service, local groceries, our local farmers’ markets, and individuals. We never know the menu in advance since it depends on donations. One afternoon we arrived to find many pounds of ground venison. With the addition of onions and cream of mushroom soup, we were able to offer Venison Stroganoff! Occasionally, a food item is in short supply, so our members and board are committed to fill in the gap. The EHST coordinating volunteer calls the IFC kitchen manager early in the day to confirm and to check on needed food items.
In February 2016, the Inter-Faith Council opened a new facility to provide permanent housing for fifty men. While this has reduced demand at the downtown Chapel Hill kitchen, hungry people continue to find the kitchen open for three meals daily, 365 days per year.