WILLIAMSPORT - Bill and Laura Eckard are a couple on a mission - literally.
For nine years, they have coordinated a weekly community meal from the basement of their Williamsport church.
The idea came from a Hagerstown church they attended that had a similar ministry. When the Eckards became members at Rehoboth United Methodist Church in Williamsport, Laura Eckard wanted to start a meal ministry there.
The Eckards said the pastor and ministerium at Rehoboth were mission-minded like the couple and supported their idea.
They have a son, a daughter and two grandchildren, are going on their seventh year as volunteers with the Appalachian Service Project, through which they help repair homes in the Appalachian region. They also helped with the REACH Cold Weather shelter the first 10 years it was open, until last year.
As the Eckards' daughter, Sara "Sadie" Cline, considered options for her Gold project for Girl Scouts, she decided to start a weekly community meal, which was named The Shepherd's Table. Sara was a senior at Clear Spring High School at the time.