By Jessica Isaacs
Looking for a way to give back this holiday season? Green Street Catering, a local organization that feeds hundreds of people in need each week, offers you a variety of ways to get involved and help families right here in the High Country.
Executive Director Chastity Lesesne established the organization in 2010 after God called her to use her talents in the kitchen to help struggling families in the area. With a group of like-minded friends and neighbors by her side, Lesesne set out to establish a food ministry that would provide weekly hot meals for people in need with no strings attached.
In late October of that year, the team served 40 people on its first Thursday afternoon community meal. Today, Green Street serves approximately 600 people each week with the help of hardworking volunteers, dedicated community partners, generous contributors and compassionate faith-based leaders.
Because their work relies solely on food donations, grant funding and monetary gifts, Green Street board members and volunteers walk boldly, intentionally and expectantly in faith, knowing that God has and will continue to facilitate the ministry.
In addition to community meals and catering projects, Green Street also hosts special holiday programs throughout the year. This year’s Thanksgiving program distributed more than 400 baskets containing everything a family would need to prepare a full meal.
Want to help Green Street reach more people this holiday season? Although the turkeys and trimmings have already been delivered, anyone interested in contributing financially can make donations to help replenish the Green Street operating budget.
You can also choose to get involved with Green Street’s Christmas ministry. Lesesne’s research showed that there’s a greater need in the community for providing winter clothing and household items, so the organization steps away from the holiday food baskets this time of year and does something a little different.
“For Christmas, we veer off a little bit and we don’t do food, which is interesting. We have found that other local programs do a good job of meeting that need this time of year, so we wanted to make sure we’re not working on top of someone else,” Lesesne said. “Instead, we adopt children, senior adults, and folks who are transitioning from homelessness into a more stabilized home life and try to meet their needs in other ways.”
The Green Street Christmas program works with other organizations — like schools, counselors, social services, the Hunger and Health Coalition, the Hospitality House, the local project on aging, the Western Watauga Food Outreach, and others — to identify folks in need and sponsor them for the holidays, providing for them the things they need most.
“Many people ask for clothes for the winter or toiletries. Providing something other than food is out of the ordinary for us, but it’s our own little Angel Tree and we love to be a part of it,” Lesesne said. “We don’t wrap our gifts so that the parents can give to their children themselves, because I think we should be quiet in that and that’s what angels do. It allows the parents to feel empowered and give to their children when they may not be able to otherwise.”
If you’re interested in adopting a neighbor in need for Christmas, contact Lesesne by email at firstname.lastname@example.org by Dec. 3. She will match you up with someone who needs your help and send you that person’s wish list. Collected items will be returned to Green Street at a holiday party on Dec. 11.
Green Street will continue to offer its weekly meals on Thursday afternoons throughout the winter at Alliance Bible Fellowship in Boone.
To contribute financially, make a donation through the Green Street website or send a check or money order by mail to 200 Sierra Vista, Boone, North Carolina 28607.
If you or someone you know would like to volunteer with Green Street or sign up to receive the free weekly meal, contact Lesesne by email at email@example.com or visit the ministry online at www.greenstreetcatering.org.
Check out the December issue of High Country Magazine for a feature story on Green Street Catering.