Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Handled with Care, Seasoned with Compassion: Dinner with Love Plans to Deliver 6,000 Meals

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Handled with Care, Seasoned with Compassion: Dinner with Love Plans to Deliver 6,000 Meals

Article excerpt

OKLAHOMA CITY - As a Price Edwards & Co. Commercial Real Estate Investment team broker, Paul Ravencraft is often concerned with price per square foot on a property. Once a year, Ravencraft's thoughts switch to different comparisons, such as the number of canned green beans needed to fill 600 food boxes.

Ravencraft is the founder of the nonprofit organization Dinner with Love. A few days before Christmas, the organization gives hot meals to families in need. While volunteers help deliver the meals, Ravencraft's business connections have aided with funding.

"(The organization wants) to provide a meal that's comparable to what we had growing up," he said. "Our mission is to get the family together at Christmastime."

In 2007, Ravencraft served 10 families with boxes that were filled with food he prepared at his home. He learned about the families when attending St. Luke's United Methodist Church. Cooking for that many people wasn't intimidating, as Ravencraft's family was in the restaurant business and catered in large volumes.

"I still had (cooking) in my blood," he said.

This year, he expects the organization to deliver 600 food boxes that contain supplies for 10 meals each, equating to 6,000 meals total. Each box comes with a small ham, green beans, rolls, dried beans to cook with the hambone later, a dozen cookies, a loaf of bread, bags of fruit and candy. The operation has moved out of Ravencraft's home and into St. Luke's commercial-size kitchen and Oklahoma Christian School in Edmond. By Christmas 2015, he expects to operate out of a third location, as well.

Expanding will require more funding and more help from volunteers. Through his work in the commercial real estate industry, he's made connections with clients and companies that donate, including Price Edwards, which was one of the original donors. He said he's even had some companies donate in lieu of sending corporate Christmas presents.

There's always a need, however. Even when it's not Christmastime, the organization donates food to disaster victims and bottled water to homeless people during hot summers. …

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