About once a month, 8 to 12 volunteers gather under the shade structure or in Forbes Hall to prepare 100 sack lunches to be donated to nearby homeless service facilities run by The People Concern. After the lunches have been made and checked, they are taken to either Turning Point, a transitional housing facility near our church, or Cloverfield Safe Haven, a transitional housing facility that also runs a drop-in center for people in need. The People Concern is the umbrella organization that tells us where to deliver the lunches that are are given out to individuals over the following week.
Lunches for Bunches is an initiative of the Faith in Action Hunger Taskforce operated completely by volunteers and funded exclusively by targeted donations. It has no line-item in the church budget. The food is bought in bulk at Smart and Final. Volunteers just show up and help. There is no need to sign up in advance.
Patrick Meighan and Dorothy Steinicke are co-coordinators who alternate months in organizing the activity on various Sundays, approximately once a month. While the random schedule can make it a bit difficult for people to plan in advance, it also gives more people the opportunity to participate. The next scheduled activity date is always listed on the UUSM calendar under FIA Lunches for Bunches and is listed in the weekly announcements.
Lunches for Bunches has been a UUSM tradition for many years. It’s a simple and wonderful way for church members to roll up their sleeves (figuratively and literally) and make an immediate impact in the broader community. The assembly-line-style work of creating the lunches is fun for people of all ages. In fact, many of our most dedicated volunteers are children.
If you would like to help coordinate Lunches for Bunches, please contact Patrick or Dorothy at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Carol Ring and Cedar Boschan