Photo by St. John UMC

The St. John United Methodist Church (UMC) hosts a number of programs throughout the year to support the island community, and one of its most popular initiatives thrives in the off-season winter months.

The weekly Free Community Dinners, (which are held for 9 weeks from January through March), routinely attract residents from Hatteras to Rodanthe, and the dinners host roughly 300 hungry islanders every week.

St. John United Methodist Church (UMC) in Avon. Photo by St. John UMC.

The Thursday evening dinners are a wintertime social event for many longtime patrons, as the dinners present an opportunity for folks to get together, mingle, and reconnect in a season when a good chunk of businesses and gathering spots are closed until spring.

The menu changes every week, with comfort food staples like homemade meatloaf, chicken pot pie, and barbecue making a regular appearance every year.

One new addition for 2024 is the introduction of occasional raffles for dine-in patrons, which include prizes like Food Lion gift cards.

The Community Dinner program will be wrapping up in March as the island comes back to life after a sleepy winter season, but for now, the St. John UMC is the loudest and liveliest place to be on Thursday nights.

For more information:

The free Community Dinners are held every Thursday from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., (or until the food runs out), at the St. John UMC at 40336 McMullen Road in Avon. The last Community Dinner of the season is on March 7.

For more information on the weekly Community Dinner program, visit the St. John UMC Facebook page at

The post Avon’s Free Community Dinners program, which feeds 300 islanders a week, returns for 2024 appeared first on Island Free Press.

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