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Arlington residents serving free dinner every last Tuesday
ARLINGTON — Jeff White and Gene Hammond are spreading the word and their slogan — Remember Last Tuesday — throughout the Arlington community.
The idea? Offer a free, homemade dinner for people once per month across from the city's food bank near Haller Park.
"We figured it would be a natural draw from the food bank and it would be easy for people to remember," White said. "We just wanted to interact with folks and so far we've seen some incredible things — children and families getting back together."
Meals are usually served between 6-8 p.m. every last Tuesday of the month.
The event has been a big hit — during the first meal, volunteers served approximately 130 dinners to community members.
Although attendance shrank down to about 70 people per dinner during the winter months, White said that more than 150 folks took advantage of the monthly dinner in February.
To make Remember Last Tuesday happen, volunteers, including White and Hammond, purchase and prepare food, which ranges from turkey and stuffing to spaghetti. Food is often donated by area restaurants and businesses, White said.
"We don't have a lot of resources but with our community effort we make it happen," White said. "We have a group of people dedicated to this."
When the two church members first started the monthly dinner, they paid for the costs out of pocket. Since then, they've established a Wells-Fargo account for residents to make donations.
Although the group's members attend the Arlington church, Remember Last Tuesday is not affiliated with Lifeway.
While some residents have been re-united during these free meals, others simply want to take advantage of the warm meal, White said.
But for people who can't make it during the last Tuesday of each month, White said the group might be looking to expand the program into serving two smaller meals each month to promote the larger dinner at the end of the month.
"Arlington is a tight-knit community and this seems to fit," White said.
The next dinner is March 30 near Haller Park, located at 1100 West Ave. Dinners are held outside under a series of tents and served on a 16-foot-long table.
To learn more about Remember Last Tuesday, call 425-345-8305 or 360-631-1650.