Every weekday, the Nehemiah Project partners with Turner Memorial A.M.E. Church to provide free lunches to as many as 250 children and adults in West Columbia. Local businesses donate the food, and volunteers prepare it in a tiny kitchen next to a multipurpose space with folding tables and chairs.
When a volunteer cook didn’t show up on a recent morning, the Rev. Kenneth Taylor, the church’s pastor, stepped in to pick up the slack. A big pot of macaroni and cheese warmed on the stove and black-eyed peas simmered in a slow-cooker while residents from the surrounding community trickled in for what Taylor said was often their only meal of the day.