The 13th Annual Soul Food Pow Wow took place at St. Paul Lutheran Church on Sunday, Nov. 20. | Shanel Romain

The annual Soul Food Pow Wow returned to Austin for the first time in nearly three years. The event was held Nov. 20 at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 846 N. Menard Ave. More than 100 people attended.

“The food was good and the entertainment was good,” said Austin resident Shania Ware,20. “My favorite dish was the dressing and macaroni.”

 Verna Metcalf, 77, said she did most of the cooking.

“I cooked everything but the cakes,” she said. “It took me two days. I cooked some in advance and put the food in the freezer.”

Metcalf’s spread included spaghetti, dressing, sweet potatoes, macaroni, turkey and ham.

This year, food prices were nearly triple what they have been in years past, she said.

“Let’s say you go to the store with $200 but you end up having to spend $500 for what you need.”

Metcalf said she and the dinner’s sponsor, Roman Morrow, spent close to $2,000. In previous years, they spent an average of about $600, she said.

“I shop everywhere,” she said. “Sam’s Club for bulk items, Pete’s and Jewel, no matter where you go you can check the prices to see which is cheaper but all of them are high. I said, ‘Gee Wiz, what am I suppose to do?’ Unless we get some help, we’re in trouble. We had some people donate.”

Donna Moss, who has been attending the dinner since it began 13 years ago, said the money paid off.

“This is a community event,” she said. “The purpose of the food is to bring people together.”