The Wesley United Campus Ministries on the University of Louisiana at Lafayette campus offers free lunch to anyone who wants to stop by.
This is offered every Monday that school is in session, so this excludes holidays such as Labor Day.
The meals offered vary from week to week, depending on the circumstance and what is donated, according to the Director of Wesley United Campus Ministries Jessica Trahan.
Meals can be anything from sandwiches from Old Tyme Grocery to chili tacos cooked by Trahan, or someone may have made a home-cooked meal.
“Ideally, the food’s provided by local church people and the community. Sometimes they sponsor, sometimes they order food, sometimes they prepare food,” Trahan said.
This is a tradition, according to Trahan, that has been going on for many years before she became the director in 2019.
The food also does not come with the condition that you have to learn about God.
“Seriously, I just think if you’re gonna invite people in to eat and visit then just invite people in to eat and visit without a caveat, without an expectation tied to it,” Trahan said. “We kind of call it No Strings Attached Lunch. It’s literally there for you to just take advantage of.”
The church is also part of Project Allies that is run through UL Lafayette and is inclusive regardless of sexual orientation.
“The mission of Project ALLIES (Alliance Linking Leaders In Education and Services) is to provide a network of informed students, faculty and staff who are willing to be visibly supportive of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. ALLIES will work to foster a campus climate in which all members of the University community, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, may feel safe, supported, respected, and affirmed,” the website reads.
Project Allies, according to the university website, is a network of people on campus who are willing to give a safe space to those under the LGBT umbrella.
“We have an opportunity to love and welcome and invite people that otherwise may not have a place that is safe and welcoming on campus from a campus ministry perspective,” Trahan said. “It’s just kind of a non-negotiable. We’re going to be good to people.”
According to the Wesley website, “UL Wesley recognizes all individuals as beloved children of God. ALL are welcome, EVERYday.”
Outside of lunch, and for those who are interested in worship, Wesley offers services such as Guided Spiritual Meditation on Tuesday, Nov. 16 and Nov. 30 at 6:00 p.m., and they will be offering dinner and then a worship session on Sunday, Nov.14 at 5:30 p.m.