Sack Lunches for the Homeless


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A tray of food, with Lunch and Kitchen

Do you ever find yourself wanting to do more to help those in need but not knowing where to start?  Or feeling overwhelmed by the immense need in your community?

I hate the empty feeling of seeing someone in need and looking the other way. Several years ago, I found a simple way of giving back where I’m able.

I keep sack lunches in my car to give away when I see homeless people around my city. It doesn’t take much effort to prepare them and my children like participating too. I usually prepare 10-12 bags at once and keep a few in a bin in my car at any given time.

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A tray of food on a table, with Lunch and Bag

Giving away these lunch sacks has shown me that when I extend kindness to others I am blessed just by giving. My children get to see that they can help make a difference in someone else’s day and perhaps life.

I often wonder who has been blessed more by this simple kindness, my children and I, or the person who received the sack lunch.

Non-perishable foods keep well in the vehicle for an indefinite period of time. It isn’t about whether the food is organic, all natural or fresh from the garden. Sometimes it is as simple as a package of peanut butter crackers, some applesauce, and a bottle of water. Every little bit helps!

Here are some of the things I’ve packed into our bags:
Cracker packs, with cheese or peanut butter
Fruit or applesauce cups
Vienna sausages
Ready to eat tuna packs
Cereal bars
Soft snack bars (avoid nuts and crunchy granola bars)
Dessert snacks
Bottled water
Plastic fork and spoon

Lunch and Kitchen

Barefeet In The Kitchen has partnered with Feeding America for a Virtual Food Drive. (You can read more about why we chose Feeding America in the original blog post.)

Working together we provided 27,840 meals for the homeless and we are still working to provide more meals. You can help!

Click the link here to donate your spare change; every dollar donated will provide TEN meals for the hungry. If you’re inspired to pack a lunch or two, tuck it into your car and pass it along to the next hungry person you meet.

“What do YOU like to do to give back?”

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Sybil says

    Thank you for doing this……you are the best. Our teachers donate food and money to fill weekend backpacks for our needy kids. Our church also does the backpack project for one of the elementary schools. A hungry child cannot learn. It makes a real difference to our school kids and our senior citizens.

  2. Sharon Seneker says

    All great ideas except the granola bars. I am the director of a ministry and homeless people have poor dental care and granola bars, nuts, jerky hurt their gums. Thanks for helping those in need!

    • Mary says

      Thanks for taking the time to leave that note. I actually learned that about nuts and granola bars a few years ago and updated a few of the other posts on this site to reflect that. I need to update this one now too!

  3. Michele says

    God is so amazing! You have been a blessing to me today. I’ve been praying on how to make a difference in my community. Packing lunches for the homeless was what moved my heart, but I didn’t know how to start. God will truly reveal what we need at just the right time. Thank you so much. May God bless you and your family and all you do.