• Family Focus: Weekly lunch in Matthews helps young adults with disabilities

    By: Erica Bryant

    Updated:

    MATTHEWS, N.C. - A Matthews program serving children with disabilities celebrated its 20th anniversary at Matthews United Methodist Church.

    Feast with Friends started when Laurie Little wanted to help her disabled son, Will.

    He Is not just a server, but he's the inspiration for others.

    Laurie Little was looking for summer camps for him 20 years ago, but there were not many options for children with disabilities.

    She started the nonprofit Rainbow Express Ministries, and over the years, it has grown.

    "After high school, it's a big hole for these young adults, as far as nothing to do or no way to be intentionally involved in the community,” the mother said. “So we're trying to change that."

    Every week, the young adults participate in different activities, and Feast with Friends is always a highlight.

    Anyone can attend the weekly lunch free of charge.

    "We do not charge. We just take a donation, if they'd like to," Laurie Little said.

    Matthews volunteer firefighters and paramedics eat lunch at the church most of the time.

    "The grilled cheese is to die for and the desserts, that's the big draw here," Matthews Fire and EMS Chief Dennis Green said.               

    With Feast with Friends, Laurie Little admits the feast draws people in and hopes the friends is what they take away.

    "They have a lot to teach us, our friends,” Laura Little said. “We just have different abilities.”

    Feast with Friends takes place on Thursdays at the church.

    For more information on Rainbow Express Ministries, click here.

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