Meal Provider Program

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 serving meals interact directly with program participants and ensure the residents of our three Short-term Residential Programs and four Low-Barrier Shelters have access to healthy, wholesome meals.

*During the COVID-19 pandemic, all meal providing is "delivery only," and volunteers cannot enter the shelter to cook or serve.

Meal Provider groups consist of 5-10 people who have joined together as family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, or another type of service group. 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 90-minute general orientation, followed by 30 minutes specific to the meal provider program.

How Meals Work

Serve dinner at a shelter with a kitchen:

  • The group purchases, prepares, and serves dinner for 60-120 residents.
  • Meal Providers may prepare the meal off-site (bringing food in catering trays) or in the shelter's kitchen. Groups may arrive as early as needed to cook the meal or to setup to serve.
  • Dinner is served at 7:00 PM, with most providers arriving by 5:00 PM to begin prepping if they are cooking on-site. The program residents will clean up the kitchen after you prep and serve.

Serve dinner at an emergency shelter without a kitchen:

  • The group purchases, prepares, and serves meals for 70-200 residents at one of our emergency shelters.
  • Since these facilities have no kitchen spaces, our need for meals tends to be greatest at the emergency shelters. All hot meals must be prepared off-site and brought ready to serve, in catering trays or crock pots.
  • We ask that you please provide disposable plates and utensils for the shelter guests along with any hot meals that are served.
  • Dinner can be delivered at 6:30 PM and served by 7:00 PM. Arrangements for an earlier drop off or meal set up time can be made if requested beforehand.

Deliver sack lunches to a shelter without a kitchen:

  • At our shelters without kitchens, groups have the opportunity to provide sack lunch-style meals for our 70-200 residents. These meals must contain healthy, non-perishable items such as a PB&J sandwich (or two), a piece of fruit, a granola bar, and a bottle of water. All items should be in brown paper bags, and all sack lunches should be the same.
  • Sack lunch delivery times vary by shelter, with most accepting deliveries from 12:00 - 6:00 PM.

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).
Ready to provide a meal?

Submit your details and our Volunteer Program Supervisor will follow up to get you registered for an orientation session.