The United Methodist Men are preparing for their annual pancake and sausage meal at the Grace Church in Macksville.

It’s hard to beat a hearty meal of pancakes and sausage. Since the early 1950s, the United Methodist Men from Grace Church in Macksville have been serving up hot sausage and pancakes to raise funds for church activities.

This year the free feed is set for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and again from 5 p.m. to the last person through the door on Wednesday, Jan. 16 at the Grace Church, north of the highway and the Country Store and a block east of Main Street,.

Kirk Grizzell, president of United Methodist Men has been attending the feed into links for truly fresh food.

“Times have changed,” Grizzell said.

Some elements haven’t changed over the years. Volunteers prepare the food and the food is donated just as it was in the beginning. The Stafford County Flour Mills donate the Hudson Cream Flour and Gary Unruh of the Highland Dairy donates the milk. Other members of United Methodist Men donate other ingredients for the event, Grizzell said.

The response is always pretty good with from 150 to 200 attending unless the weather is bad. But even bad weather doesn’t keep people away. About 20 or 25 years ago, there was an ice storm the day of the feed and no one had power, including the church. But, they set up lanterns, cooked without electricity and went ahead served the community. It was one of the biggest turnouts they every had because no one had power and the pancake and sausage feed was the only place in town where people could get food, Grizzell said.

“If you wanted to eat, you better come,” Grizzell said. “It’s been interesting. We’ve had all sorts of scenarios.”

A big crowd is expected this year and the weather forecast has no storms. While the men do most of the work, the ladies help out and in return, the men help the ladies with their roast beef supper held in October or November.

Money raised at the event supports missions, goes to families in need and is used for church repairs.

All you can eat pancakes and sausage is a very tempting meal and Grizzell admits he goes off his diet for the feed. “I go into diet mode after the feed,” Grizzell said. They have two meal times to accommodate more people. The lunch group from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. usually has fewer people but the evening meal from 5 p.m. to the last person through the door has the biggest turnout.

The visitors and the church members all have a good time visiting and enjoying the good food. It’s a long standing tradition that brings people together.

“We enjoy doing this,” Grizzell said.