CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Rev. Shauna Hyde, the associate pastor of Christ Church United Methodist in Charleston, developed shingles last fall. She'd never been so sick.
While Hyde was recovering, she received a visit from people well known to her. They were two homeless people who had traveled from the East End to her home in South Charleston on foot to bring her a can of chicken noodle soup -- a get-well present for the pastor.
"Goodness knows how they got the can of soup, but they came all the way to my house to give me that can of soup," Hyde said.
The two were part of a large group of homeless, struggling and hungry people that Christ Church feeds during its Breaking Bread meals, held every Wednesday at 5 p.m. in the church with food from the Bridge Road Bistro.
Breaking Bread founder and chef Robert Wong owned the Bridge Road Bistro, where he was also head chef until he died last year.
According to Hyde, Breaking Bread feeds as many as 100 people every Wednesday, many of whom live in one of at least three "tent cities" Hyde has seen in Charleston, which are small communities of homeless people who live outside of shelters in makeshift areas.
"They come in and say 'thank you' a lot," Hyde said. "One of the ladies who is homeless brought me a bouquet of flowers a couple of weeks ago that she had handpicked on her way there. It was just one of those 'thank you' moments."
Christ Church, as well as Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church and Simpson Memorial United Methodist Church, offer consistent weekly meals to the hungry. Many other local churches offer monthly gatherings and food pantries, according to Jean Simpson, executive director of Manna Meal.
A 38-year-old soup kitchen housed at St. John Episcopal Church on Quarrier Street, Manna Meal provides a unique service to Charleston. Breakfast and lunch are served seven days a week to anyone who walks through its doors.
"It's not so much a lack of places to go; where I see people hurting is an inability to buy food on their own or to have a food pantry to go to," Simpson said.
Simpson said Manna Meal partnered with Covenant House, a local pantry and advocacy center, to donate food after many of its visitors started asking for groceries they could take home.
Manna Meal has fed more than 1.3 million people in its history, and serves as many as 380 people two meals each day. For Simpson, though, Manna Meal and many area churches are treating a symptom of a larger disease.
A widespread need exists that requires more organization and greater outreach to effectively tackle it, she said.