Covenant Presbyterian Church - Charlotte, NC

As the hands of the church, take this challenge to fight food insecurity for our neighbors-in-need. 

Texas Hash Challenge 2024

1) Cook at least one batch of Texas Hash for Roof Above.
2) Drop off any time between now and Sunday morning, July 28.
3) Place your hash in the Fellowship Hall freezer (just past the stage and through the doors on the left).
4) Sign the designated roster at drop off, so we know you met the challenge!

Click on the button below for the healthy, new "challenge" recipe:

ABOUT THE NEW RECIPE: To make this dish even more nutritious – while remaining delicious – we amped up this "challenge" with lean sources of protein by adding in plant power through legumes for half of the meat, reduced sodium, increased flavor with seasoning and spices, and incorporated fiber-rich whole grains. If you prefer to make the original recipe, click here to download it.

Feeding our Neighbors: The History of Hash

BY SHANNON BLAIR
For more than twenty-five years, Covenant has cared for Charlotte’s homeless neighbors on fifth Tuesdays by preparing and serving the ultimate comfort food: Texas Hash. Joe and Sandra Poole first led this outreach at the Men’s Shelter of Charlotte, now Roof Above, with a dedicated group of church members, many of whom remain part of the initiative today. The Poole's dear friends, Terry and Lecia Horne, heeded the call when it came time for someone else to continue the ministry.

More than a decade later, a Covenant team still ensures that nearly 300 men receive a hot meal four to five times per year — even when the fifth Tuesday falls on a holiday. Terry notes that there is always room for new volunteers, whether directly serving at the shelter or indirectly preparing food reserves.

Roof Above operates two year-round men’s emergency shelters, housing 400 occupants nightly at the Tryon Shelter (1210 N. Tryon St.) and Howard Levine Men’s Shelter (3406 Statesville Ave). A Covenant crew regularly provides the Texas Hash dinner at the Tryon shelter and would like to expand service to the Levine location. More Covenant volunteers (older than sixteen) are needed for this to happen.

The other need is an ongoing supply of Texas Hash and desserts. Cookies, brownies, and casseroles can be prepared in your own kitchen, at your convenience, and then stored in the church’s Fellowship Hall freezer.

Covenant’s Health & Wellness Committee is asking church members to take the #TexasHashChallenge by nourishing others beyond their own dinner tables. We’ve taken it a step further by upgrading the original recipe. To make the dish even more nutritious – while remaining delicious – we amped up lean sources of protein by adding in plant power through legumes for half of the “meat,” reduced sodium, increased flavor with seasoning and spices, and incorporated fiber-rich whole grains.

If you’re ready to take the Texas Hash Challenge, the Covenant Health & Wellness Committee is specifically asking those who feel called to prepare at least one batch for the Tuesday, July 30th shelter meal service. The dish can be prepared well in advance of service dates since freezing maintains taste and texture for approximately three months. Cooking Texas Hash can even become a convenient and meaningful repeat volunteer opportunity for families or church groups as a fellowship activity.

Future service dates for 2024 will be October 29th and December 31st.

You might even consider making a second batch to enjoy for your own family meal, enjoying conversation about the meal’s origins and purpose. If gluten-free is important in your dietary lifestyle, Texas Hash meets that criterion. In addition to Texas Hash, stashes of cookies and brownies are also always welcome. After all, we are about moderation not deprivation on this health & wellness committee.

Shannon Blair is a Covenant member who enjoys cooking up stories (and Texas Hash) with her own family, husband Sam and children Jay (14) and Nora (11). She is a freelance writer with a nutritionist certification and is also on staff at Augustine Literacy Project. Feel free to contact her at shannonblair@gmail.com with any questions about the recipe or this article. You can also contact Terry Horne at thorne@sbhlaw.net to get connected with shelter meal service opportunities.