VIDEO: Local church offers free food

From February 15 until Spring Break, Crowder Neosho students who wanted something different for lunch were given the opportunity to eat free Chik-Fil-A sandwiches, courtesy of Cross Church, a Southern Baptist student ministry based out of Springdale, Ark. The ministry offered the sandwiches to students for free once a week for about a month.

Every Monday, student volunteers with Cross Church brought about 225 sandwiches to campus and gave them out to students on a first come, first serve basis until all the sandwiches were gone. Students were generally allowed to take as many sandwiches as they wanted.


Shalae Brown and Andrew Shaefer, both of Cross Church in Neosho, offer a Chik-Fil-A sandwich to Ethan Eads, freshman, on Monday, March 14.

Shalae Brown, a freshman early elementary education major, helped to pass out the sandwiches. Brown explained Cross Church donated the sandwiches out to give students a chance to eat some food not normally found in the area, and to let the students know about Cross Church’s college ministry.

“We were just giving out chicken sandwiches to get the word out about the college group we do and blessed the students that we could,” she said.

According to Andrew Shaefer, a former Crowder student who is now a Cross Church employee in charge of the ministry at the church’s Neosho location, headed up the operation. He declined to say how much money the church spends on the sandwiches, but according to Chik-Fil-A, their individual chicken sandwiches cost $2.99 each.

“We can’t say how much we spent,” he said. “We have a budget that allows us to do stuff like this for our ministry. It just depends on what we’re using it for.”

Shaefer added thatCross Church students who miss out on the sandwiches on Monday could also get free food during the ministry’s evening services.

“Our ministry is on Tuesday nights,” he said. “We do that at 8:30p.m. We also have church on Sunday mornings. We’re just using this as a tool to try to get students involved. We usually have dinner on Tuesday nights, either Chik-Fil-A or something else.”

“It’s great; I love it,” said Ethan Eads, a freshman engineering student at Crowder who enjoyed the free sandwiches.

Cross Church meets in its building at 16202 Highway 59 South, near Wal-Mart, on Tuesday evenings at 8:30 p.m. For more information, call (479)751-4523 or go online to