"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.” Matt 25:35.
According to the United Nations, there are at least 100 million homeless in the world today. But no matter where we are, the Bible has multiple mandates on helping the poor and hungry, and one effective way is to provide packaged meals to the homeless. Delivering a lunch may not solve homelessness, but it lets our neighbors on the streets know that they are loved and not forgotten.
- Pick a distribution site. Locate homeless shelters in your area http://www.shelterlistings.org/ or a site where homeless people are known to gather.
- Organize volunteers into two teams: lunch-makers and delivery. Consider enlisting the youth group to pack lunch in Sunday School.
- Purchase supplies for the bagged lunch or ask for donation from church members. The bagged lunches might include a hearty sandwich, chips, fruit, light dessert, and water or soda. You may also need folding tables to place the food and coolers for the drinks.
- Pack lunches the day before or in the morning of delivery.
- As you hand out the food, take time to chat with the homeless people and listen to their story. Take prayer requests or pray with/for them. Respect them and show them the dignity that they deserve.
- Start with delivering lunches, but if you would like to follow up from this one-day project, consider distributing clothing or care packages.
- Focus your time interacting with the homeless people. Consider this as a ministry with the homeless, rather than ministry to the homeless.