St Peter’s provides the First Monday Meal (FMM) at the Route 1 Day Resource Center for 60 or more people every month. From providing food to volunteering on site, there are many ways to volunteer for this rewarding experience.
The center provides resources that can be used by the homeless people, or by anyone who needs extra help to get by, even if they are not homeless. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, DRC provides a place for those in need to shower, do laundry, eat a hot meal, access a food pantry and clean clothing, use computers, and develop relationships. Sometimes medical personnel or counselors are available to guide people in terms of minor health problems, job-hunting, resumes and navigating assistance through the various systems. The staff and volunteers are on hand to provide support, prayers, encouragement, conversation or a chess partner. The Center is an outgrowth of Grassroots here in Howard County, and is funded by a combination of county money and gifts from foundations, churches, and individuals.
On the first Monday of each month, a team of volunteers from St. Peter’s drops off a meal at the Center. To execute the donation, prepared food is collected on Sunday and Monday morning in the church kitchen. At 11am on Monday, volunteers warm and complete preparation of the food to be dropped off. At 1:15pm, we load up and transport the meal to the DRC. We set up the food on warmers at 1:30 and serve the hot meal from 2 to 3:30pm. During our time at the Center, three to four St. Peter’s volunteers set up, serve, and clean up the meal, interacting with guests during the visit.
Traditionally we look for volunteers to cook the following items for each meal. The hot items should be ready to serve, preferably in 11×9, 11×15 or 11×19 aluminum foil pans for reheating hot items over sterno racks:
Of course! We provide other “fixings” to go with the meal that are very easy:
There is a detailed job description for kitchen help on the Route 1 Day Center website. Essentially, kitchen helpers are there to heat and set up the food, serve the food and clean up. You can volunteer the entire time or just an hour or two, whatever your schedule allows. St. Peter’s provides 3-4 volunteers to staff the afternoon. There is other staff on site to assist as well.
We have an email mailing list that we use to communicate with volunteers during the year. If you are not already on the FMM mailing list and would like to be included in the monthly email, please contact Guv or Kennette Mitchell.
Having a strong group of FMM volunteers gives members of St. Peter’s the opportunity to participate in this outreach once or twice a year. The more people on our roster means that the same people don’t have to commit to every month. Email messages are sent out to group 3 weeks prior to the FMM in order to start planning. People are always welcome to join the First Monday Meal team to participate in this ministry!
Guv and Kennette Mitchell are the coordinators of the volunteers, and ensure that we have enough people donating food to provide a full meal. Pat Hand coordinates the kitchen help the day of the FMM. Please feel free to contact any of us for more information!