Stacy Eschbach and a few family members and friends are starting 2013 on a high note.

Beginning Tuesday, "The Gathering Place" will offer free meals to the community at the convention center at Oakdale Park. 

"Everyone is welcome," Eschbach said.

The free meals will be served 5:30-7 p.m. every Tuesday.

Eschbach worked as an education aide for four years and got firsthand knowledge of the needs of children and families across the community.

"When summer came, they didn't want to leave school," she said. "It was their safe haven and a lot of them didn't have the food they needed at home."

After taking a break from community service, Eschbach said she is once again ready to serve.

"I feel like God has been on me to do this again," she said. "Finances are tight, but someone came across my path and gave me confirmation. He said he would supply me with more than I need."

And so The Gathering Place was born.

To make the mission of "showering the community with love by providing a hot meal and friendly atmosphere" a reality, the group is hoping other individuals, businesses and groups will join the effort.

For more information, contact Stacy at (254) 396-4320 or