It was lunchtime at Auffenberg Chevrolet Buick GMC on Friday afternoon – with more than a thousand to feed.
The auto dealership served as the main hub for delivery items for the Help the Hungry Barbecue. A second “drive-up” and “dine-in” location was First Baptist Church of Farmington.
“It’s a pleasure to work with all these ladies who invite me in to help,” Tim Morgan of Auffenberg said as he took a quick break from sending delivery orders out the door. “They are a well-oiled machine.”
Morgan said the goal for this year was to sell 2,000 hamburger and pulled pork sandwiches – a goal he thought was attainable due to the more than 1,500 preorders received up to the day of the barbecue.
“I’ll be shocked if we don’t hit it,” he said. “We should be pretty close.”
And, although the final total was about 40 sandwiches short of the goal, the generosity of the community had the barbecue raising $10,770.70 - surpassing the goal of $10,000.
Last year’s barbecue raised $8,570 – breaking the previous year’s sales by more than $400.
Alice Johnson is a member of the Help the Hungry Committee and works with Morgan to organize the barbecue.
Johnson said the goal for this year was to sell 2,000 lunches and raise $10,000.
“We had 1,200 orders going out at the same time today,” she said. “I’m sure it’s going to be a great success.”
Manning the grill at Auffenberg was Hardy White, Obie Kiepe, David Kater and Aaron Miller. Miller said he’s been involved in either delivery or cooking each year, while Kater has volunteered for three years.
White said he’s made new friends through his time volunteering for the barbecue and said it’s a good time each year.
“We have a good time with each other and get to talking to people coming and going,” he said. “And, it’s for a good cause.
“Anytime you can do that … it feeds your soul.”
Proceeds from the barbecue will be included with the amount raised at this year’s Help the Hungry Bake Sale, set for Nov. 17 at St. Joseph Catholic School in Farmington.
Bake Sale Chair Chris Landrum said the busy time at Auffenberg is the time right before the 11 a.m. start – with a bevy of volunteers delivering orders to businesses and schools throughout the region.
Landrum said the committee was “just thrilled” with the number of preorders received. She expressed her appreciation to the community and volunteers who helped make the day a success.
Since it began 12 years ago, the Help the Hungry Bake Sale has raised nearly half a million dollars for the Farmington Ministerial Alliance and St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantries.