HOW MUCH GOOD CAN WE DO WITH A BOWL?

Jesus was pretty direct in his words and actions: feed the hungry, clothe the naked, give the thirsty something to drink.


We believe that more can be done when we work together in a myriad of ways, than when we work alone. That's why this is an intential effort among small to mid-size churches who may not be able to sustain this effort on their own, but together, can make an impact.

So we applied for a grant with these purposes:




Launched with a grant received by Ridgewood Baptist Church in 2024, this forming ecumenical partnership with other small- and mid-size churches in Southwest Louisville is intended to collaboratively create positive financial impact in 40258, 40272, and 40177


This grant is specifically for partnership among small- to mid-size churches in Southwest Louisville. If your church does not fall into this category, but you'd like to support this cause, email molly@ridgewoodlouisville.org.



BOWLS TO GO IS A MONTHLY FUNDRAISER LUNCH TO UPLIFT FAMILIES IN FINANCIAL NEED
IN SOUTHWEST LOUISVILLE.


IT IS BY SOUTHWEST LOUISVILLE, FOR SOUTHWEST LOUISVILLE.






why a bowl


Planning and preparing a meal that is in a bowl offers simplicity in planning, preparation, dishware, disposables, and beyond. 


The possibilities are wide: the fall calls for hearty chili; the spring calls for chicken salad; and who doesn't like a burrito bowl?! We think that this is a cost-effective way to serve food. We believe we can keep our price consistent without too much difference in cost of supplies month-to-month. 


Each Thursday, volunteers distribute between 30-50 meals to unhoused individuals in the Dixie Highway area through "Jesus Mobile Outreach." We hope that one day, as we assess finances, that we may have enough food prepared to distribute to these individuals. These "bowls" are easy to distribute and provide a variety of nutritional options for our street family.


We recognize a lot of folks are on the clock for lunch. We're being realistic: you want food, fast. We can pack a bowl to go for someone to "drive-thru." We want to emphasize that this food is fast (although, it's better than "fast food!") but still goes to a good cause. For the same time you can run through a drive-thru, you can order a bowl. 


FAQ's

HOW CAN I BE A PART?

Great question! 

Our grant is specifically to connect with small- to mid-size churches who may not be able to sustain this ministry on their own, but through a collaborative effort with other churches, can put aside differences in theology and practice and serve the people of Southwest Louisville.

If you you (individually) or your church would like to participate, please reach out to Rev. Molly Shoulta Tucker, Pastor. We'd love to chat!

VOLUNTEER NEEDS

There are a lot of ways we can utilize volunteers! 

We believe that to effectively capture the mission and spirit of this grant, we need four volunteer teams:

ONGOING ASSESSMENT

Determine sustainability

Is this something that may be carried on past a year’s time? Is there investment from those preparing meals, donating food, and purchasing meals? Are relationships and partnerships life-giving?

Cost assessment

Does $10/bowl feel reasonable? Do we have an ongoing plan for growing patrons, or growing profit to go towards SWCM?

Leadership structure

Are all areas being covered by volunteers or by the availability of church staff members? How does leadership remain open and inviting? How are new ideas heard, and seen through?

WHAT IF THIS DOESN'T WORK?

Both grants were to sustain this project for a calendar year. 

If in a year, we don't believe that there is a sustainable model for moving forward - that is okay. By that time, if we feel like this project is sustainable and giving life to the community and the churches that are a part, we will continue with slightly differing financial means.

Here's some perspective: if 100 people purchase a meal in each of the first twelve months, that is $1,000 per month raise, or $12,000 at the end of year that goes back to SWCM. That is $12,000 that was not otherwise a part of Southwest Louisville. In the words of Sarah Langmeyer, SWCM, "I've done a whole lot more for a whole lot less!" 


A similar project to "Bowls to Go" exists in South Carolina. They are able to raise $10-12,000 monthly with a similar model. Justice & Missions leaders at Ridgewood believed this was worthy of writing a grant, and leaders in our national level saw promise in how this may develop in the future. 


We will assess as we go, as well as assess the program in its entirety at 12 months.

DETAILS + FUNDING


FUTURE CONSIDERATIONS

Delivery option

If an office or shift would like to order in bulk for lunch for workers, is it possible to “deliver?” Would depend on volunteer capacity, but if this increased total, this would be worth it! May also consider “call ahead” for a bulk order if needed or necessary.

Feeding program with Jesus Mobile Outreach (JMO)

The local 501(c)3 Jesus Mobile Outreach takes meals directly to folks in our community who are unsheltered. Is there a way to account for 50 meals within the cost of food to ensure the community eats at lunch, but that meals are also then delivered to these folks? Can we do good in more than one way, together? (JMO currently relies solely on personal food or monetary donations for their Thursday meal serves.)

Sponsorships from area businesses or organizations

Not everyone is a “small- to mid-size church,” but if possible, could organizations outside of this qualifier donate money or food to offset the cost of purchase once grant money runs out? This may also require a specific volunteer to develop relationships with sponsors. This may also be a way that current supporters of SWCM could have their money invested towards a larger sum (i.e., $250 food donation, with 100 attendees, turns to a $1000 contribution). 


Instagram

@bowls2goSWLou