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The Meals Are the Message:

The Meals Are the Message:

God's Love We Deliver, 1985 to 1994

(p.25) Chapter Two The Meals Are the Message:
Heaven's Kitchen
University of Chicago Press

This chapter chronicles God's Love We Deliver's (GLWD) cultural and physical expansion from its origins until field research in 1994. GLWD developed its official repertoires to respond to particular situations and constraints, within particular social circumstances. “Food is love” continued to attract donors, capture the imagination of volunteers, and influence the ways GLWD conducted its affairs, even after “food is therapy” became an important interpretive repertoire. GLWD's transformation in the nine years was no “miracle,” regardless of its phenomenal growth from grassroots community to multilayered service organization. The agency took advantage of existing community networks and created new ones, and it increasingly juggled a variety of interpretations of its message as it navigated these networks and funding streams. God's Love We Deliver thus marked a transformation of love from spoken assurances to embodied demonstrations that God cares for those who are dying. GLWD initially drew the symbols of loving food from the realm of gourmet, restaurant-quality meals. The connection between restaurant-quality meals and love was emblematic of several aspects of GLWD's purpose and its relation to its clients.

Keywords:   God's Love We Deliver, food, meals, community networks, therapy

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