Like most of the other people who were waiting for their noontime meals at Plowshares on Wednesday, I arrived hungry. Upon entering the clean and modern dining room at the Plowshares facility at 1346 S. State St., I was greeted by a volunteer staff member as I joined the 60 or so other guests that Plowshares was to feed that day for lunch, some of whom would be back for dinner later on.
I picked up a tray and some clean silverware and made my way down the cafeteria-style line, where smiling volunteer cooks offered me applesauce; a good-sized serving of a lightly-spiced Persian-style rice dish with meat, saffron rice, and raisins; sauteed zucchini and squash; two or three slices of white bread; a baked dessert of my choice, such as a cupcake or a cookie; and a cup of hot coffee or tea, which I took from a counter against a wall that featured some of the many social and civic service awards that the nonprofit community service organization has won over the years.
As I went to find a table, monitors staffed the dining room, which was peaceful and clean, clearing trays and making sure everything ran smoothly. Seconds were offered to those who needed a little more.
Once I had finished my meal, I bussed my tray and walked toward the exit door, and on my way out, I saw that an adjacent room had been turned into a barber shop, where a volunteer beautician was giving haircuts to adults and children, as is done every Wednesday.
Brenda Brown, the shift supervisor, was also handing out toiletry articles like travel-sized shampoo and soap to anyone who needed them.
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