Shepherd’s Table in Silver Spring will mark its 38th anniversary Thursday evening when it serves its 2 millionth meal since the first one on Dec. 16, 1983, according to Manny Hidalgo, executive director of the nonprofit.
“The whole board is coming; they’re going to be the volunteers [serving] for the evening,” Hidalgo said, adding that they’ll give the person served the milestone meal something special to commemorate the event.
“It’s just incredible,” he added, “38 years and we still have never missed a meal service.”
Shepherd’s Table started out as a soup kitchen in a bungalow behind the First Baptist Church in Silver Spring, a project born from collaboration among 15 local congregations.
The organization is now serving three meals day, about 500 a day, at its Progress Place facility at 8106 Georgia Ave. In addition, a program called Beyond the Table, which delivers another 250 dinners a day to residents in need.
In addition to meal service, Shepherd’s Table has a resource center providing referrals and other help, an eye clinic, and a clothes closet offering gently used adult clothing to its clients.
Each year, the nonprofit serves between 2,000 and 2,500 clients, Hidalgo said.
“About half of them are homeless,” he said, “and I’d say the other half are on the verge [and] are very housing and food insecure.
“It’s just indicative that we still, in the D.C. region, have a real big problem on our hands with people being homeless and hungry,” Hidalgo added.
Photo courtesy Shepherd’s Table