Oakland church serves up food and fellowship

A hot meal is waiting for anyone hungry each Wednesday at Downs Memorial United Methodist Church. There’s also conversation, companionship and a little encouragement for those knocked around by life.

“It means the world to me,” Jerome Hatcher, 76, said on a recent afternoon as he settled into a lunch of turkey and dressing, collard greens and bread at the church near the Berkeley border. “The food here is fixed with love and forethought. You can tell the people who made it care because of the way it tastes.”

Hatcher just has an ice chest to keep food cold and a microwave to warm things up in his single-room apartment at 17th and Jackson streets in downtown Oakland, making him especially thankful for the weekly meal.

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