Jump directly to the Content

Serving the Suburban Poor

We're all richer when we realize that poverty is in the cul-de-sac too.
Serving the Suburban Poor

Each week, my church family serves a free meal after our 11 a.m. service. The meal is open to any one who would like it. Afterwards, a market is set up where patrons can receive a number and "shop" free of charge. The entire operation exists to serve those who find themselves materially poor and cannot afford groceries. People who could use a meal once a week.

While this may not surprise you, it surprises some people in our community because of one simple fact: our church is in the middle of a pretty wealthy suburb outside of Portland, OR.

I was telling a friend of mine (who knows the demographic of our community) about this. "Who even uses it?" he asked.

"Many different types of people" I said. "It's packed every week."

The numbers get real

Recently, Brookings researchers released Confronting Suburban Poverty in America. It's a lengthy report on a staggering new number: there are 16.5 million poor people living in suburbs compared ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

From the Magazine
The Woodstock Generation Swallowed Me Up and Spit Me Out
The Woodstock Generation Swallowed Me Up and Spit Me Out
One summer in a hippie commune soured me on the ’60s counterculture. God met me in my disillusionment.
Editor's Pick
Visitation Is Still Our Vocation
Visitation Is Still Our Vocation
We may face new challenges, but the heart of our calling remains the same.