A gifted cook and devout Christian, Amy Beitelschees-Albers has found a way to combine her passion for food with her ministry interests by founding a food truck church called So Much More Ministries.
Amy comes from a long line of people who were blessed with the gift of cooking and hospitality. While the food is important, Amy believes it is really about sitting around the table after the meal, talking and building relationships with people.
Currently, her ministry provides meals to persons and families in a food desert in southeast Fort Wayne, Indiana where there are few churches or conveniences. Every Thursday, the truck parks at the corner of Paulding and Hanna streets in an empty parking lot where exchanges of food and friendship are free for everyone.
After finding a food truck originally used to feed the homeless in Washington, D.C., Beitelschees-Albers began renovating the vehicle with the help of friends and family.
“I really wanted to see how to use food and a healthy meal as a conduit to build relationships and to share the love of Christ.”
Encouraged to apply for a Lutheran Foundation grant, she purchased an old food truck that had previously been used for ministry homeless ministry in Washington, D.C.
After renovating the vehicle with the help of friends and family, the ministry launched in September 2019; and from September 2019 to March 2020, served roughly 20 meals every Thursday.
In addition to serving meals, relational ministry activities are offered to help provide community such as games, word searches, trivia, and questions to learn more about each other and about faith.
When once a regular Thursday night was serving around 20 meals, So Much More Ministries has been providing anywhere from 80 to 120 meals during the pandemic.
Once the pandemic hit and shelter-in-place orders took effect, So Much More Ministries had to suspend its operations and access what the next phase of its ministry would look like. When the ministry started back up again, the need for food had greatly increased. Thursday night gatherings and serving 20 meals increased to 80 to 120 meals.
“With people being laid off, people are hungry,” Amy said.
Reflecting on how God has moved in her life through this ministry, Amy said, “This has nothing to do with me, other than how God has used me and the gifts he has given me.”
Source: Living Lutheran