Volunteer

Meal Provider Program

Providing meals at our shelters is our most popular volunteer activity, and…our most needed!

Volunteers interact directly with program participants and ensure that the residents at our three Short-term Residential Programs and four Low-Barrier Shelters have a wholesome meal. Meal Provider groups typically consist of 5-10 people who have joined together as family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, fellow parishioner, or other types of service groups. Please note that the group leader is required to attend a Volunteer Orientation before the first scheduled date. Here are more details about this opportunity:

At the Clark Center, Doreen's Place, and Jean's Place:

  • The group purchases, prepares, and serves dinner for 60-90 residents at one of our Short-term Residential Housing facilities.
  • Purchasing items to prepare meals can cost about $200. Many Meal Providers reach out to their local stores for in-kind donations or fundraise in their community to offset the cost. The Development Associate can help you with tips for how to do this!  We also have recipes ideas available.
  • Many groups serve regularly, such as the 3rd Tuesday of every month, while others serve quarterly or every six months. We suggest you and your group try one or two dates before committing to the regular service.
  • Meal Providers may prepare the meal off-site or in the facility's kitchen.  Groups may arrive as early as needed to cook the meal or to setup to serve.
  • Youth aged 12-17 may serve in groups a ratio of 1 adult present for every 6 minors. Youth under age 12 may serve in groups with a ratio of 1 adult present for every 3 minors. Please understand that minors must be closely monitored by adults in the group and are not allowed to be on their own in the facility.
  • Dinner is served at 7:00pm at Clark Center and Doreen's Place, and 6:30pm at Jean's Place, with most providers arriving by 5:00pm to begin prepping if they are cooking on-site.  The program residents clean up the kitchen after you prep and serve.
  • More information can be found here.

 

At the Columbia Shelter:

  • The group provides dinner for the 90 men, women, and couples at the shelter.
  • Since this facility has no kitchen, the meals must be prepared off-site. Hot meals must be ready to serve, in trays or crockpots. Sack meals must include non-perishable items, with sugary items limited to 1 per meal.
  • Purchasing items to prepare meals can cost $150-200. Many Meal Providers reach out to their local stores for in-kind donations or raise funds in their community to offset the cost. The Development Associate can help you with tips for how to do this!
  • Meals can be delivered from 7:00-7:30pm during your scheduled evening. Arrangements for an earlier drop off or meal set up time (before the shelter opens) can be made if requested beforehand.
  • Minors are not allowed on-site at this facility. Youth volunteers can help prepare meals off-site, but cannot be present for drop-off or serving.
  • More information can be found here.

 

At the Hansen Shelter:
  • The group provides dinner for the 200 men and women at the shelter.
  • Since the shelter has no kitchen facility or refrigeration, the meals must come ready to serve and in disposable containers.
  • On Sundays and holidays, groups have the opportunity to provide and serve a hot dinner at the shelter. The meal must come ready to serve in disposable trays (or reusable trays that the group takes back), and the group must provide disposable plates and utensils for the shelter guests. Dinner will be served at 7pm.
  • Monday through Saturday evenings, groups have the opportunity to provide sack lunch-style meals. These meals must contain wholesome, non-perishable items such as a PB&J sandwich, piece of fruit, granola bar, and bottle of water, and should be in bags so the shelter guests may carry them with them if they are not eaten right away.  Sugary items must be limited to 1 item per meal. Meals can be delivered directly to the shelter between noon and 6:00pm during your scheduled evening.
  • Purchasing items to prepare meals can cost $150-200. Many Meal Providers reach out to their local stores for in-kind donations or raise funds in their community to offset the cost. The Development Associate can help you with tips for how to do this!
  • Minors are not allowed on-site at this facility. Youth volunteers can help prepare meals off-site, but cannot be present for drop-off or serving.
  • More information can be found here

 

At SOS - Safety Off the Streets:

  • The group purchases, prepares, and delivers a hot meal or sack lunch-style meals for the 100 women staying at the shelter on their scheduled evening.
  • Since this facility has no kitchen, the meals must be prepared off-site. Hot meals must be ready to serve, in trays or crockpots. Sack meals must include non-perishable items, with sugary items limited to 1 per meal.
  • Purchasing items to prepare meals can cost $150-200. Many Meal Providers reach out to their local stores for in-kind donations or raise funds in their community to offset the cost. The Development Associate can help you with tips for how to do this!
  • Meals can be delivered from 4:30-6pm during your scheduled evening.
  • Minors are not allowed on-site at this facility. Youth volunteers can help prepare meals off-site, but cannot be present for drop-off or serving.
  • More information can be found here.

 

At The Willamette Center:
  • The group has the option to provide brunch or a hot dinner to the 120 women and couples staying at the shelter.
  • This facility has a large homestyle kitchen to prepare hot meals on-site or heat delivered meals.
  • Purchasing items to prepare meals can cost $150-200. Many Meal Providers reach out to their local stores for in-kind donations or raise funds in their community to offset the cost. The Development Associate can help you with tips for how to do this!
  • Brunch can be served starting at 10am on the scheduled date, and dinner can be served starting at 6pm on the scheduled date.
  • More information can be found here.

 

To learn more about becoming a Volunteer Meal Provider or to reserve a meal date, please submit the following form:


  The Clark Center (1431 SE MLK Blvd)
  Doreen's Place (665 NW Hoyt St)
  Jean's Place (18 NE 11th Ave)
  Columbia Shelter (509 SE Grand Ave) - sack meal program or hot meal
  The Hansen Shelter (12240 NE Glisan St) - sack meal program or Sunday hot meal
  SOS - Safety Off the Streets (435 NW Glisan St) - sack meal program or hot meal
  Willamette Center (5120 SE Milwaukie Ave) - brunch or hot dinner
  Wherever meals are most needed

  Let's just try one for now
  Weekly
  Monthly
  Every once in a while


  Yes
  No
  Maybe

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