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One meal at a time

Providing for the needs of the homeless is hard work, and must often feel like Sisyphus, pushing the proverbial boulder up a hill only to see it roll back to the bottom.

That’s certainly the case for the peace meals, a daily food service to Ashland’s homeless community. The peace meals are about to become closer to homeless themselves, after the final Thursday meal is served in Pioneer Hall at the end of this month. Tuesday’s meal is still served at First United Methodist Church, and Sunday’s at the Lithia Park Gazebo.

The rest of the meals were served at Pioneer Hall, but when the Community Center next-door was shut down for safety reasons, programs there moved to Pioneer Hall, displacing the peace meals. This is no one’s fault; programs with seniority were given precedence, and the peace meals have been operating for only four years.

The meals now are being served in Railroad Park, but that is a solution only until cold weather sets in again — and summer heat and wildfire smoke make it harder to keep volunteers. Also, outdoor meal service is more work, requiring food to be prepared elsewhere and transported, and cleanup is more difficult.

The Ashland community has a history of caring for the less fortunate, and we have no doubt that an indoor location or locations will be found. In the meantime, volunteers are needed. If you have the time and the inclination, visit Community Peace Meals on Facebook or call Jason Houk, 482-841-8341.