This week, staff writer Laura Rysz talks with Mary Magner about the free drive-through Goulash meal at Clarks Summit United Methodist Church.

Residence: Clarks Summit

Professional background: Clarks Summit United Methodist Church secretary

Title: Co-chairwoman with Elaine Van Fleet

Q: What inspired this event?

A: Hunger is so prevalent in Clarks Summit and surrounding neighborhoods. Our inspiration is the needs of others. God instructs us to feed the hungry.

Q: How does this event work?

A: Goulash is a beef stew. The meal includes salad, bread, dessert and a “goodie bag” with candy in it.

Q: Why is community support so important to your cause?

A: Our community is full of wonderful people, but there have always been those who are distressed financially. Some of those people we know, and some we don’t. The pandemic has stretched these folks to the limit. There should never be a hungry person in this nation. In this land of abundance, we are attempting to do our share. Our church members are behind us. Many have donated money and goods for this giveaway. We also host a Caring Cupboard. This is a food pantry that is opened to all Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and on Sundays once our in-person services resume. This mission team started here in 2016. With the support of our congregation and beyond, we have hosted brunches, organized litter pickup in Clarks Summit for two years, donated uniforms and school supplies, given prayer bears to the ill and despondent, delivered meals and flowers to our shut-ins, held a biblical “talent” contest, sponsored families, Christmases and much more. Unfortunately, a community barbecue, the talent contest and a golf tournament had to be canceled in 2020 because of the pandemic.

Q: What is unique or special about this fundraiser?

A: It is free, and it is our first meal giveaway.