The Lyndale community dinner – nourishing community


Every Wednesday night at 6:00pm, dozens of neighbors gather for a healthy and delicious meal in the Zion Church Banquet Room. The meal is prepared by Karen who is both a dietician and cook along with volunteers who chop, stir, and serve. Lee, the Dinner Coordinator, gathers people together for some quick neighborhood announcements. Then a few people offer to share what makes them feel grateful this week. Their stories spark conversation, connections, and smiles.

Sometimes the cook shares nutrition tips, chatting for a few minutes during the meal about sodium intake or portion control. People help mothers carry trays of food for their children. Groups and committees hold their meetings during the dinner and old friends connect. New neighbors find their way to the Lyndale Community Dinner in search of good conversation and a weekly tradition in the midst of new beginnings and transitions.

The Lyndale Community Dinner has always been more than a meal – it’s a time and place for people to gather around good food in the midst of a neighborhood we love. It is a great intersection for life in Lyndale and the things we value: education, wellness, food, and diversity.

Meat and Vegetarian Options Each Wednesday. Our cook and kitchen volunteers prepare both a meat and vegetarian option each Wednesday evening. You’ll love the vegetarian lasagna and chili!

Tutoring for Elementary School Kids. A few families who attend regularly have asked for tutoring resources at the dinner. Other dinner guests and volunteers have become reading and math buddies to these little ones, creating new connections at dinner between neighbors.

FREE Blood Pressure Checks Every Second Wednesday. A Parish Nurse offers resources, health information, and blood pressure checks every second Wednesday of the month 5:30-6:30pm.

Education and Wellness Events Throughout the Year. Our Dinner Coordinator organizes regular forums, events, and activities based on current events and wellness needs within our community. Past topics have included: stroke awareness, immigration, and healthy cooking. Our next event will be facilitated by Lenief, a Lyndale community members. She’ll share information about raising the minimum wage during dinner on Wednesday, January 15th.

Right: Karen serves up dinner.

The Lyndale Food Share Program. In August, the LNA’s Environment Committee set up a project to begin distributing fresh, Lyndale-grown vegetables within the community. For months, local gardeners donated produce that was distributed at the Lyndale Community Dinner. We’re going to try it again this summer and fall, so stay tuned for more kale and tomatoes later this year!

The Lyndale Community Dinner has the potential to be a thriving neighborhood tradition in the midst of our dynamic, evolving community. Experience this event for yourself in 2014 – bring a few friends, skip the dishes, check your blood pressure, meet a new neighbor, or help in the kitchen. See you on Wednesdays at 6:00pm!

The Lyndale Community Dinner is funded by free-will donations, Zion Lutheran Church, Bethlehem Lutheran Church, and the Lyndale Neighborhood Association.