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What's a Parish Community to do... How about Host a Drive-Thru

What's a Parish Community to do... How about Host a Drive-Thru

By Mark Shapleigh, Director of Business and Administration

Aren’t these extraordinary times? We’re not able to attend Mass or to engage with others in our traditional manner. The school has been empty for weeks. We’ve all been cooped up at home. Even the weather has been slow to warm us this spring. What’s a parish community to do?

As is often said...extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. So, why not host a Drive-Thru Taste & Tap event in the parking lot? I mean, we all gotta’ eat, right? Well about hosting them several times on consecutive Thursday evenings? Yes, we should... and yes, we have!

If you’ve not had the chance to experience one, in a nutshell, it goes like this: You drive into the parking lot and are handed a menu order form. The line of cars weaves through the lot and, when you reach the front circle, a volunteer takes your order and swipes your credit card. You drive around the circle and release your trunk. A second volunteer places your order in the trunk, closes it, and sends you on your way.

All the volunteers are masked, and sanitizing wipes are used with the credit cards. You never leave your vehicle, but conduct all the business through your car window.

The concept is the brainchild of Karben4 Brewing Company of Madison. SMG heard of one being coordinated by Karben4 at another Dane County parish. As we learned more, it seemed like a good fit. It provides an opportunity to support small businesses in this challenging time.

Many of the establishments, too, have parish connections including Mooyah Burgers, Vintage Brewing Company, Wisconsin Distributors, LaBaguette, Sassy Cow Creamery, La Brioche True Food, General Beer Distributors, North and South, Dahmen’s, and Greenbush Bakery (purveyor of our beloved Sunday donuts).

This event also serves as a little fundraiser for SMG, in these financially uncertain times, after we’ve had to cancel some of our traditional fundraising events.

Perhaps most importantly, though, is that these events “feed the flock”. And not just with the obvious — those tasty, local comestibles and thirst-quenchers. People have something to do and a place to go. They wave to their friends across the parking lot. They chat with volunteers as they wind through the line. They experience a rare touch point with the community, perhaps giving them a renewed glimpse of normalcy. And they can take the meal home and eat it together.

This is why we have continued to serve a few hundred cars at each event, even several weeks in a row. We hope to continue these and perhaps offer them occasionally throughout the year. So, if you haven’t already, at our next event...why don’t you come feed your flock?

Stay up to date on our upcoming Drive-Thru events by visiting our website or our Facebook page.

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