Program enjoys salad days at church

Local residents shared a meal together Tuesday so neighbors in need might be able to access a meal more easily in the coming year.

Patrons of the annual salad bar benefit luncheon organized by Church Women United of Glendale strolled the length of two long tables at First United Methodist Church, crafting a lunch out of dozens of salads, deviled eggs and breads.

The food donations came from community members, area restaurants and members of Church Women United of Glendale.

In exchange for filling their plates, diners donated $7, which will support the Glendale Salvation Army’s Meals on Wheels, which delivers hot meals five days a week to people who are homebound.

The Glendale branch of Church Women United, an ecumenical group that brings many Christian denominations together to work on community projects, has put together the salad bar fundraiser for 31 years. Besides feeding the people who gathered for the event and bringing together members of different churches, the fundraiser contributes to feeding those in need year-round, said Evelyn Horigan, president of the Glendale of the Church Women United.

“It feeds people over the year as long as our money lasts,” Horigan said.

Shortly before 11 a.m. Tuesday, the church’s Fellowship Hall was abuzz as volunteers arranged the food donations buffet-style. Salads of every color, size and texture filled the tables.

There were tuna pasta salads, fruit salads, broccoli salads, Chinese chicken salads, ambrosia salads, Jell-O salads and coleslaw salads.

The salad theme arose because the meals are easy to prepare and serve, Horigan said.

The variety in the salad buffet was spectacular, said Doris Duncan and Orma Rowe, both from Glendale.

“In fact, there’s so many good salads here, it’s hard to make a decision,” Rowe said.

The money raised through the fundraiser will pay for Meals on Wheels for participants who can’t afford the $6 per meal price, or just to sustain the operations of the program, said Christina Mesta, an accountant with Glendale Salvation Army who attended Tuesday’s lunch.

The Glendale Salvation Army delivers about 60 meals a day through the program. The recipients are in Glendale, La Cañada, La Crescenta and Montrose, Mesta said.

“The meals are wonderful,” she said “They’re well-balanced meals.”

Last year, the luncheon raised about $1,400 for the program.

This year, the group hopes to raise $2,000, said Karil Drake, one of the event’s co-chairs.

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