MACON, Ga. — Every Wednesday morning in February, the Macon Food Story will take you inside several houses of worship where the connection created by sharing a meal builds relationships.

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Many college students will tell you that free food is a great way to grab their attention. At Mercer University, the UKirk campus ministry is helping students open up to one another to talk about faith with the help of a free meal.

"The first time I came I really had no clue what this was about, but there was free food so I was like okay," said student Abby Boyd.

Boyd first joined the UKirk ministry two years ago. The free meal lured her in, but she was hungry for something more.

"I found myself before UKirk just kind of – if I went to church, I would go with some friends and I would go here one week and here the next and ever since UKirk I've found a church home that I've stayed at," she said.

"I think the students find something here that they don't find any place else on campus. A place where they can truly be themselves, be honest about their questions, their reality, their experiences and grow together in Christ," said pastor Marilyn Tucker.

Tucker says food along with bible study is a way of showing love.

"By caring for bodies, Jesus throughout his ministry showed that he cared for the whole person. He healed people, he fed people so we feel that doing the same at least the feeding people part is very much following in the footsteps of Christ," said Tucker.

While a hot meal is a big factor in getting these students through the door, it's what happens around the table that keeps them coming back.

"The fellowship, the conversations that happen around the table here begin friendships that last beyond their graduation," said Tucker.

"With UKirk, we're a very close group and we often talk outside of UKirk, we're constantly texting each other and everything and I think a big part of that is just the fact that once a week we get to sit and have a meal together and talk," said Boyd.

UKirk meets every Monday at 5:30 p.m. on campus and dinner is served at 6:30 p.m.

For more information about the group, click here.

Want to talk more about food and fellowship in Central Georgia? Join the Macon Food Story group here.