A baby is born in York County. At three squares a day, that child would eat his or her quarter millionth meal at the tender age of 228.
There were five born last Wednesday at Piedmont Medical Center. Together, they could team up to eat that many. They’d all be old enough to run for president once they got there, with a decade each to spare.
As of last count before school let out for summer, the Fort Mill School District had 14,155 students. If district cafeterias served every one of them a lunch every school day, it would be hump day of the fourth week of school before they hit a quarter million.
Or, if the best census guesses are right, a quarter million meals would feed every person in Fort Mill, Tega Cay and Lake Wylie seven meals each. Until 2015, a quarter million meals would’ve fed every person living in York County.
Point is, a quarter million is no small number of meals.
“This is exactly seven-and-a-half years since we started,” said Don Murfin, whose Community Cafe reached the milestone Thursday at its Sisk Memorial Baptist Church location. “I never would have imagined this.”
The meal could have been chicken chili over a baked potato. Could have been a ham, pepperoni and cheese panini, grilled cheese or a salad. It could have been the soup that’s been on the menu since the start, the crowd-pleasing beef barley vegetable. Volunteers don’t know because they didn’t serve it in the Cafe, but to one of the hundreds of people who get it delivered each week.
“Coming into today we were 51 short,” Murfin said. “We sent 300 or more out.”
Impressive as the 250,000 meal mark is, Murfin expects the next quarter million to go even faster. The Cafe began at Lake Wylie’s River Hills Community Church. It served almost 50 free meals the first day. Now there are three sites, with Lake Wylie Christian Assembly and Lake Wylie Lutheran Church in Fort Mill joining Sisk. There have been discussions in recent months about a food truck to serve other areas.
All still serving meals at no charge.
Last year, the Cafe sites combined for more than 60,000 meals served, a number Murfin expects to top again this year.
“It just keeps growing,” he said. “It’s just special. It just is.”
Want to know more?
For more on the Community Cafe, visit communitycafecares.com.