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.

About Route 1 Day Resource Center

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 7.19.12 AMThe 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.

St. Peter’s role in FMM

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.

foodOur signature meal consists of turkey breast, ham, potatoes, broccoli, salad, cheese and crackers, fruit, tea and milk. Members of our team take turns preparing the dishes each month.

Okay, I think I can cook a little bit. How can I help?

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:

  • 4 people to cook two turkey breasts or ham each (for a total of 8 meats). This does not have to be complicated – roast it, slice it thinly, and put it in a disposable aluminum pan.
  • 3 people to drop off fresh or frozen uncooked broccoli
  • 2-4 people each to make a pan of potatoes (we can use either 2 large pans or 4 small). This doesn’t have to be complicated-use your own favorite recipe, roast them, mash them, scallop them (just please use fresh, not boxed potatoes)- whatever you are comfortable with.
  • 3 people to bring fruit: soft fruit is preferred due to potential dental issues; fruit that is portable (i.e. oranges, tangerines, bananas, etc) makes it easier for the guests to carry it with them.
  • 3 people to bring dessert: you are only limited by your imagination!
  • 1-2 people provide a salad with dressing, which includes a bag salad with some additions (tomatoes, etc) and a salad dressing. (The preferred salad dressing is ranch.)

Well, I’m not sure I can cook these things (not yet anyway). Is there anything else I can bring that does not need cooking or reheating?

Of course! We provide other “fixings” to go with the meal that are very easy:

  • 1 person to bring 10 cans turkey gravy – this can be canned or jarred
  • 3 people to bring jugs of juice (6 gallons total)
  • 1 person to bring tea
  • 1 person to bring milk (2 gallons total, 2% or whole)
  • 2 persons to bring cheese and crackers to be served for our hungry guests while they are waiting for the meal
  • 1 person to bring small bottle of Olive Oil (needed every other month)
  • Occasionally we need 1 person to supply the plates and utensils, depending on what is left from the previous month.

What is expected of me if I volunteer to help prepare the meal at the church or to help serve the meal at the Center on the First Monday?

first monday meals

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.

How do I keep up with FMM, find out what is needed each month, or volunteer to assist?

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!

This was great information, but I have other questions. Who knows the answers?

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!

Contact information:

Guv- Guv.Mitchell@stpetersec.org
Kennette- Kennette.Mitchell@stpetersec.org
Pat Hand- pat.hand@stpetersec.org
Julie Dunn- julie.dunn@stpetersec.org