Come and Dine Community Dinners are less than two weeks away from kicking off for the summer of 2018, with the first dinner scheduled for June 27.

These free meals are offered from 5:15 to 7 p.m. every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday through August 15 (excluding July 4). Meals are served at Aurora First Baptist Church, located at 201 South Jefferson.

The goal of the community dinners is to meet the needs of many families in Aurora during the summer after summer school is out. Volunteers serve meals to children, families, single individuals, senior citizens and homeless -- anyone who needs help with a meal. With the economy causing everyone to have to stretch every dollar, eight churches and Mercy Hospital come together to help everyone possible to have a full course meal to eat, especially during the seven weeks after summer school is out until school starts again the middle of August.

The dinners follow Federal Food Guidelines in that everyone gets a meat, potato/rice, vegetable, salad, fruit and bread. Federal guidelines do not require a dessert, but the Come and Dine program also provides this. Everyone needs dessert!

Volunteers prefer that everyone come to First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall to eat as they will have more food to eat, but deliveries are available to those who cannot come in because of physical disabilities, don’t have transportation, etc. Those eating at the church have extra side dishes available to them if they wish to have them.

"The economy in the Aurora area has not improved like is has on the west or east coasts, some Food Stamps have been cut and food prices are rising. We anticipate serving even more meals this summer," said Come and Dine director Barbara Wommack. "People have the misconception that churches are wealthy, but when the economy is weak, people do not give to the church. We only stay open because of donations to the church. We must rely on donations to help with the Come and Dine Community Dinners."

Anyone wishing to donate to help with the meals is invited to contact Aurora First Baptist at 678-3774 or Wommack at 678-3669.