There will be fried chicken and "all the fixings," for the First Lutheran Church of Blair's mid-week meal Aug. 21.

The church, located at 2146 Wright St., is considering Aug. 21 its "kickoff" night for the year since that is the night its Sunday school and life night classes begin. The mid-week meal coincides with that event, but it has already been happening every Wednesday since last August.

Erika Cada, who is the director of children's and youth ministries and helps organize meals for the church, said it's a good time of year to remind that the free meal is available for anyone interested in sharing "fellowship, food and full hearts."

"We're calling it the kickoff only because the 21st is the night we start all of our activities at church," she said. "Through the summer there hasn't been as many people because they're so busy. With beginning of school, everybody is kind of getting back to their routines."

She said the meal is open to anyone in the community who needs a meal, a night off from cooking or simply wants to talk with friends. People don't have to be members of the church, she said.

"It's just a chance for fellowship, for people to sit down for a half hour to an hour and visit with people that maybe they don't see very often, meet someone new, come with their family and be able to have a meal that mom's not standing in the kitchen cooking while the kids are eating," Cada said.

The meal is free to everyone, but people can offer a donation, Cada said. She added that the church doesn't want people to feel like they have to donate.

"Our church supports (the meal), so if people want to give they can," she said. "We don't want people to think they have to have any kind of payment."

Cada said upcoming menus will be available Aug. 21so people can plan ahead for future Wednesdays.

"I know that, especially moms, don't want to show up to a meal and we're having Chinese food, and their kids hate it," she said. "We will have that stuff ahead of time so people can plan accordingly."

Cada said the mid-week meal started in August 2018 as a way to provide a meal and space for the community to share.

"We went with mid-week meal to give people the idea that you can just show up, get your meal and sit down and have a meal with your family, with your friends and enjoy that time," she said.

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