Martha’s Breakfast

Volunteers who run the Martha’s Breakfast meal program every Monday morning at Goose Creek United Methodist Church. Pictured from front left are Ruth Shepherd, Betty Nix, Jim Reid, Nancy Cunha, Emily Heatherdale and Hermania Cobilla. From back left are Perry Rhyne, Joe Nix, Brad Nix and Donnie Lyons. Two other regular volunteers not pictured are Brenda Reid and Mike Davrow.

Volunteers who run the Martha’s Breakfast meal program. Pictured from front left are Ruth Shepherd, Betty Nix, Jim Reid, Nancy Cunha, Emily Heatherdale and Hermania Cobilla. From back left are Perry Rhyne, Joe Nix, Brad Nix and Donnie Lyons. Two other regular volunteers not pictured are Brenda Reid and Mike Davrow.

Betty and Joe Nix saw a need for some early-morning fellowship and food in Goose Creek.

They are meeting that need with Martha’s Breakfast, a free program every Monday morning at the Goose Creek United Methodist Church on Redbank Road. That ministry celebrated its one-year anniversary Monday, Feb. 2, 2015.

The Nixes already helped with the church’s lunch and Friday soup kitchen, but there was no free breakfast program anywhere in the area, according to Betty.

“My husband and I just saw this need in Goose Creek,” she said. “We offer a hot meal to anyone who wants to join us. We get seniors, homeless people, some business people who just want a hot breakfast and some fellowship.”

Goose Creek Mayor Michael Heitzler joins the group every week, she said, as a way to connect with citizens.

Betty said they fed 45 people on their first day, and now average about 55 to 60 people served each Monday. Many are familiar faces that show up almost every week. One group of four senior citizens was there 10 minutes before the first breakfast started in February, 2014, Betty said, and they’ve been coming ever since.

She said the name of the breakfast is a reference to the Biblical Martha, known for her kindness, hospitality and a plea to Jesus for her sister, Mary, to help her prepare their home for his visit.

“Our pastor started calling me Martha because I take care of everyone, feed everyone and am always complaining about other people not helping me enough,” she said. “I thought it was a fitting name for the breakfast.”

This isn’t just a bowl of cereal, toast and juice meal, either. Betty said a typical breakfast menu includes eggs, biscuits with sausage gravy, grits, hash browns, bacon and ham.

Joe, a longtime Navy cook who also trained at Johnson & Wales, does much of the cooking, along with three other male volunteers.

“The men do all the cooking,” Betty said. “Joe wouldn’t have it any other way. The women stay out of the kitchen.”

A network of volunteers, donations from those who attend the breakfast, the church and other charitable organizations support the program.

Betty and Joe are joined by up to eight other regular volunteers each Monday, she said. Donations of money and food from other church members help support their effort, as does the church’s donation of use of the facility.

Betty said other charitable food programs, such as Helping Hands of Goose Creek, will also reach out to them when they have extra food.

She encouraged anyone who needs a hot meal or just wants some fellowship to join the group every Monday from 7-9 a.m. at the church at 142 Redbank Road. You can also call the church office at 553-6842 for more information.

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