May 29, 2009

Couple’s idea provides food to thousands of people in local area each month

By Kamilla Benko

A date at a dinner theater is the reason that 1,000 people in Indianapolis are fed every month.

“My husband and I found out God’s calling for us at the Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre one night,” said Wynn Tinkham.

After watching a show, Dick and Wynn Tinkham wondered what would happen with the uneaten food. When they discovered that the company threw away the leftovers, the Tinkhams asked if they could take the food.

The couple, who are members of St. Luke the Evangelist Parish in Indianapolis, loaded the food into a small van and took it to city shelters. That was the beginning of The Food Link.

Now, 25 years later, The Food Link serves more than 10,000 people in the Indianapolis area and relies on a truck from Gleaners Food Bank to carry 10,000 pounds of food to inner-city churches twice a month.

“We always have to have food coming in constantly,” Tinkham said. “Our biggest problem is not getting food on a daily basis, which we need to do in order to keep stocked.”

The Food Link needs food and money to help the hungry during these tough economic times, Tinkham said.

“The people in line are not on welfare,” Tinkham explained. “These are people who have just lost their jobs.”

The Food Link also depends on volunteers to distribute the food.

Thirty-five St. Luke fourth-grade students took part in a recent Saturday distribution.

Jessica Vaughan, a St. Luke fourth-grade student, said working at The Food Link made her happy, but she was saddened by the long lines of hungry people.

“Service is a big part of the Catholic faith,” Jessica said. “When you serve, you help people. And that’s what God wants you to do.”

And Tinkham believes that with The Food Link, she is doing exactly what God wants.

“God gives each of us a job to do on Earth,” Tinkham said. “If you find that job, it’s wonderful because you just take off with it. You never stop until you are finished.”

Since that night at Beef and Boards, the Tinkhams have never stopped serving.

The next Food Link distribution will be June 13 at the Jubilee Center. Learn more about The Food Link by logging on to †

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