Providing meals at our shelters is our greatest volunteer need.
This is a great team-building opportunity and a fun way to get friends together for a good cause. Volunteers providing meals can choose to cook offsite and deliver a shelter meal, or can cook and serve the meal onsite, interacting directly with program participants and ensuring that the residents of our three Short-term Residential Programs and five Emergency Shelters have access to healthy, wholesome meals.
Meal Provider groups consist of a team leader and small group of volunteers - family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, or another type of service group - who come together to cook a full meal for shelter participants. It is mandatory for the leader of your meal provider group to attend a Volunteer Orientation before your first scheduled meal date. This consists of a 60-minute general orientation, followed by 30 minutes specific to the meal provider program.
Ways to Help with Meals
Provide a meal to a shelter:
- The group plans, purchases and prepares dinner for 60-120 residents. (Due to COVID-19, shelters are at reduced capacity, so these numbers are currently 45 – 90 residents!)
- Your group may choose to:
- Cook onsite (at shelters with kitchen facilities) and serve the meal to participants; onsite volunteers must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination;
- Cook offsite, bring a ready-to-serve meal to shelter, and serve the meal to participants (with proof of COVID-19 vaccination), or
- Cook offsite, and deliver the meal to the shelter for staff to serve.
- Already a meal provider? Log in to your volunteer portal to sign up to serve!
- Check out recipes previous meal providers have used, scaled for large groups already, here!
Deliver sack lunches to a shelter:
- At our shelters without kitchens, groups have the opportunity to provide sack lunch-style meals for our residents. These meals must contain a healthy, complete meal, including items such as a sandwich, a piece of fruit, a granola bar, and a bottle of water.
- Sack lunches should be delivered between 10 AM and noon. Earlier deliveries can be arranged with advance notice, and for non-perishable sack meals.
Join a "potluck meal" team:
- Volunteers who aren't part of a group to take on a full meal can join our "potluck dinner" opportunity, and contribute a portion of a meal to a shelter, along with other individual volunteers.
- Volunteers who sign up for the same potluck dinner will be connected to plan their menu and commit to bringing specific dishes (e.g. entree for 20 people, salad for 30 people).
Submit your details and our Volunteer Program Supervisor will follow up to get you registered for an orientation session.