FORT MILL TOWNSHIP — The Community Café in Fort Mill received a pleasant surprise recently in the form of poultry.
When a Tyson Foods truck driver delivered an order to US Foods on Nov. 26, the driver discovered there were 12 cases of chicken the Fort Mill-based distributor did not order.
After calling Tyson Foods, the driver got permission to donate the chicken to a community nonprofit. He found his way to Grace Presbyterian Church, where church administrator Peggy Blaine, suggested giving the chicken to The Community Café. Thanks to her recommendation, the café will now have enough chicken to cover two meals for those who need it, said Don Murfin, founder and chef at the café.
“I treat it as a gift from God,” he said.
Blaine said she is happy her recommendation worked out and that the café will benefit from the donation.
“(It is) simply a conduit to a recommendation of a great program,” she said.
The Community Café, which has been in business for four years, is a nonprofit that provides free lunches, Murfin said. It’s not only for those in need of a hot meal, but for anyone who wants to share in the fellowship. The meals are free, but cash donations of any amount are appreciated from those who can afford it.
When the café first opened Jan. 10, 2010, it served 45 guests. The café now serves 500 to 570 meals a week between its two locations. Since its inception, the Community Café, which operates out of the Lake Wylie Lutheran Church in Fort Mill and Lake Wylie Christian Assembly in Lake Wylie, has served more than 75,000 meals, Murfin said.
“We try to show everybody the love of Jesus when they walk in the door,” he said. “That just keeps them coming back.”
The café served chicken cacciatore at Lake Wylie Lutheran on Friday. It was cooked in a pan that Grace Presbyterian donated to the café. The café will also serve a chicken meal at Lake Wylie Christian Assembly this week.
The café relies on donations from organizations and runs on 800 volunteer hours a month, Murfin said.
“We have loving folks that really like what we are doing,” he said. “They like what we cook.”
Many local organizations, including the Fort Mill Care Center and Restaurant Depot in Charlotte, also donate to the café, Murfin said.
“We are always appreciative of things like that,” he said. “We pray we are able to do this for a long time yet.”
The Community Café at Lake Wylie Lutheran Church, 2906 S.C. 160 West at the corner of Gold Hill Road, serves lunch from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. Fridays.
The Community Café at Lake Wylie Christian Assembly, 5766 Charlotte Hwy. (S.C. 274/49) serves lunch from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. Tuesdays.
Takeout meals can be obtained at each café during operation hours.
For more information or to donate to the café, go to communitycafecares.com.