Volunteer

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.

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 7:00pm, with most providers arriving by 5:00pm 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 6:30pm and served by 7:00pm. 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 12:00pm-6:00pm.

Meal Provider Interest Form

To learn more about becoming a Volunteer Meal Provider, please submit the following form. (If you have already attended volunteer orientation and are interested in reserving a meal date, please contact Emily Coleman at emily.coleman@tprojects.org directly with the shelter and dates you're interested in serving at.)


  Serve dinner at a shelter with a kitchen
  Serve dinner at a shelter without a kitchen
  Deliver sack lunches to a shelter without a kitchen

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


  Yes
  No
  Maybe

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