A service project with an immediate impact.
Many homeless shelters really appreciate having a supply of sandwiches on hand to give to their residents for lunch.
A homeless shelter. Find one near you by putting the words “homeless shelter” and your city name in a Google search. Or find your nearest agency by using this directory. If 2-1-1, the human services hotline, is available in your area, it can also help you find homeless shelters.
What you’ll need
Most shelters want very basic sandwiches - meat and cheese on bread, no condiments. Your specific shelter may have additional guidelines.
- White sticker labels
- Resealable bags
- Marker or pen
Find a local shelter interested in your donation and check on any specific instructions. Arrange a delivery date and time.
Decorate labels with drawings or cheery messages. Attach a label to each re-closable bag.
Assemble sandwiches: one slice of meat and cheese between two slices of bread (or whatever the shelter specifies).
Place each sandwich in an individual bag.
Put bagged sandwiches back into the bread bags and label the bag with the kind of sandwiches and the date they were made.
Deliver the sandwiches. Maybe you’ll even get a tour.
How would you feel if you had to rely on a stranger to provide your lunch every day?
What is your favorite lunch food?
How does it feel when you are hungry and you have to wait to eat?
What are other ways to help those who are hungry?
Lily and the Paper Man by Rebecca Upjohn (Second Story Press, 2007). Ages 4-8. Lily becomes worried when she sees that the paper man is not properly dressed for the cold. Then she comes up with an idea.
Lives Turned Upside Down: Homeless Children in Their Own Words and Photographs by Jim Hubbard (Aladdin, 2007). Ages 8 and up. Children living in homeless shelters take photographs, tell their stories and share their dreams.
Take it further
- Gather several families and make even more sandwiches. Have each person bring a needed item, or take turns hosting a sandwich-making party.
- Ask the shelter if they would like you to make an entire sack lunch. You can decorate the paper lunch bags and include a piece of fruit, a small bag of chips and a small drink with the sandwich.
Browse our projects for other ways to provide comfort.