This place does an amazing job of feeding a whole lot of people. When possible, they give out toiletries as well.
I have volunteered periodically over the past 4 or so years at Community Lunch on Capitol Hill. It is so well organized and so well run. There is always plenty of food for all the folks that need it. Don does a tremendous job. The main course is always healthy. There is food prepared for the folks to take with them. Sometimes there are hygiene products there.
Volunteering for Community Lunch is such a rewarding experience because of everyone involved - from the staff, to the Board of Directors, Central Lutheran Church, All Pilgrims Church, and all the other congregations, a host of volunteers and especially our guests. It's always such a joy for me to return and see all the familiar faces.
Kudos go especially to the Director, Don Jensen (arm twister extrordinaire) who has an incredible ability to find the amazing amount of resources that it takes to make this program such a success.
The challenges we face in helping those in need will continue and may even increase in the future which makes it even more imperative that we all support successful programs like this one.
I've been volunteering for what is now Community Lunch for 15 years. When I began it was a small program administered by Lutheran Social Services which relied on volunteer church congregations to provide and serve homemade pots of soup, bread and homemade desserts to 75 to 100 guests once a week. I still marvel at the changes that have happened to this service since that time! We now serve full balanced meals with a choice of hot entrees to 200 - 300 guests twice a week, and in addition, offer social services to help guests find access to other community and government resources. A large part of the credit for the excellence of the program is to due to the current director. He has done an amazing job of: finding cost-free resources (restaurants, grocery stores and food banks) for the high quality food stuffs used in the meals we serve; obtaining donations from companies and organizations for equipment such as freezers, refrigerators and stoves; organizing and administering fund raisers; and most of all recruiting volunteers.
This program is over twenty years old and has grown from serving ten meals twice a week to serving over 250 people every Tuesday and Friday noon. Everyone enjoys the hot entrees and the variety of fresh salads, yoghut and deserts. I have been helping for several years and I appreciate the time with the clients and the other volunteers and staff . It becomes like an extended, caring family having a good meal together.
I volunteered last Spring for 4 months as a service learning experience for my school. It was one of the best volunteering experiences I have ever had because of that fact we were given the opportunity to have face to face interactions with the clients and the jobs were varied. Part of it was due to the great vibe the volunteers had when we all worked together (it was a lot of fun) and the other part was the interactions with the clients. Not only were they fed with hot delicious food every Tuesday and Friday, but I felt they were treated with respect and dignity, which is important since society tries to make these marginalized people invisible or feel shame for getting help. I liked the fact that we didn't ID anyone or make them have to attend programs to enable them to eat. Furthermore, even though we couldn't given them double portions when they got their food, they were always welcome to go back in line as many times as they wished, and were given the option to get to go containers when we would have extra food. It was open to anyone and everyone no strings attached. =)
A team of co-workers and I volunteered at the Community Lunch on Capitol Hill almost three years ago and have been going back ever since! This is a great place ran by great people! Several of our team members, including myself have gone back to Community Lunch to help prepare and serve hot meals. I always leave there amazed at the efficiency, sense of community and the overwhelming amount of food! Community Lunch has served a different meal every time I have ever volunteered. These meals are not only hot and healthy, but tasty too! The patrons are welcomed at the front door, receive a hot meal served on real plates, they are even given to go boxes and sometimes toiletries. This is a warm and safe environment not only for the homeless, but for the volunteers. I enjoy volunteering at the Community Lunch on Capitol Hill as I feel I benefit just as much as the patrons we serve. I highly recommend anyone getting involved with the Community Lunch Program!
This is an outstanding program and a great place to volunteer. The program is very well run, high quality food is consistently prepared and clients are treated with respect and dignity. It is a warm, welcoming and supportive atmosphere. It is also a lot of fun to volunteer here. There are volunteers who have participated for many years and are deeply committed to the needs of the people being served.
I have volunteered at the Community Lunch for the past six years as "emergency staff". I respond when the volunteer count is light. This is an amazing organization which Don Jenson leads with real heart. The comradery of the volunteers, from all walks of life, is extraordinary and the need for this service has, sadly, grown considerably. The nutritional quality of the meals has improved immensely in recent years and Don as has developed a remarkable network of food sources including farmer's markets, restaurants, major grocery chains and many others.
Our team volunteered for the first time a few years ago for our Day of Caring Event. It was a very rewarding experience! The program is very well run, Don Jensen does a great job managing the volunteers as well as the customers who come in to take advantage of the food. For me personally, it was an eye opening experience to spend the lunch hour serving and connecting with people who are homeless or need assistance with food. For me that was the real benefit of volunteering there - you have the chance to connect with the people coming for lunch. That year, my family and some friends volunteered to serve Thanksgiving lunch based on my own experiences there earlier in the year - it was a great experience.
I need to go back and volunteer again because it was very rewarding. I had a good experience and I think Don Jensen does a great job getting the word out and getting people involved. The clients are appreciative for the most part...
I was invited by a friend to volunteer on a friday morning. It was an incredible experience to serve the homeless. It made me appreciate my life style a whole lot! The regular volunteers are awesome and seem passionate about what they do. Also, they are very organized and you can tell they know what they are doing; maybe it is all those years of experience! I came back recently to volunteer again and I felt thay anything I can contribute it was valuable. Again, the regular volunteers made me feel welcome and gave me the oportunity to serve along side them. The homeless people are very respectul and grateful for the service they recieved.