Church? Free lunch? It’s chunch. Members of Resurrection University Catholic Parish have been serving free lunch to college students for years. Funds are donated by parishioners each year for the ingredients needed for each week’s main course. Volunteers provide salads, desserts, and beverages each Thursday afternoon in addition to greeting visitors, serving food, clearing dishes, and cleaning up afterwards.
Gina Albini, a longtime Bozeman resident and one of the few original volunteers at chunch, sat down with the Exponent to share about the origins of chunch. The program has been operating for 24 years and was started as a campus outreach to provide homemade meals to college students. After a few years went by, volunteers decided to open the doors to all members of the community. Each week, chunch sees anywhere between 120-200 people passing through its lines. David Frey, a junior studying mechanical engineering, said, “Chunch is a great way to get loved on by grandparent-like people. There’s always awesome food and great desserts. There are so many lovely people volunteering here.”
Some volunteers, such as Norbert Kern, have been serving at chunch for upwards of 10 years, while others are new this year. Norbert used to arrange the bread table, a table filled with loaf donations from Wild Crumb bakery, every Thursday morning before chunch. Recently, he has become the pointman for the dessert table, the heaviest populated table at chunch. “Desserts are my favorite place. I enjoy serving the kids and talking them into taking more ice cream," Norbert said through a smile.
Alex Davis, a senior studying Aviation, shared that, “This food, it gets in my belly real good.” Nothing can better describe the lunches provided at chunch. All are welcome to stop by and enjoy free church lunch every Thursday from 11:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., 1725 S. 11th Ave.