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Serve a Meal

Serve a Meal

We love welcoming individuals, families, and groups that would like to serve a meal at the Mission!
Meal volunteers provide the ingredients and then prepare, serve, and clean up from the meal. This is a great opportunity for one-on-one connection with the residents of our LifeChange program.

Interested in this opportunity? Here's what to do next:

  1. Read through the FAQs below to make sure you know what to expect with this volunteer opportunity.
  2. Check our calendar below to find 2-3 potential dates and times that work for you.
  3. Click here to submit your request. Please note that your request is not confirmed until a member of our volunteer team reaches out to you.

Availability Calendar

Frequently Asked Questions

When can my group serve a meal?

Groups are welcome to serve breakfast, lunch, or dinner any day of the week (except lunch on Wednesdays) to residents of our LifeChange program. Meal times are 7:30 a.m. for breakfast, 12 p.m. for lunch, and 6 p.m. for dinner.

How many people will we be feeding?

Please plan to feed 14 people for weekday lunches OR 32 people for any other meal - plus anyone from your group who would like to eat with the residents. The actual number of guests may be less depending on a given day's occupancy rate and our residents' work schedules. We are not able to provide headcounts in advance, however please rest assured that any leftovers will not go to waste.

Can we eat with the residents?

Yes! In fact, we encourage volunteer groups to eat with the residents, but it is certainly not required. If you choose to stay for the meal, please be sensitive to our residents' privacy and do not ask questions about their life story. Instead, we encourage you to talk about "regular life" topics just like you would with a new friend. This can include hobbies, sports, movies, music, books, food, popular culture, current events, hometowns, etc.

When and where will we prepare the meal?

We have two convenient options:

  1. Prepare Ahead: Prepare the meal ahead of time at the location of your choosing and bring it to the Mission ready (or nearly ready) to serve. If you choose this option and are serving breakfast or lunch, you can arrive as close to meal time as you'd like. If you are serving dinner, please arrive before 5:30 p.m. or right at 6 p.m. so as not to conflict with the chapel service that takes place before dinner.

  2. Prepare at the Mission: Prepare part or all of the meal in our full kitchen with ingredients you've brought with you. If you choose this option, you can arrive as early as you need to prepare the meal.

What kind of food should we prepare?

We encourage you to put together a meal that's hearty and filling, but also healthy and balanced. We particularly encourage the use of lots of fresh produce and whole grains. You may also provide dessert and/or non-alcoholic beverages like tea and lemonade, however that's not required. You do not need to bring disposable plates, utensils, or cups unless you would like to donate some to the Mission.

Are there any restrictions on the age of volunteers?

There is no restriction on the age of volunteers. However, kitchens can be dangerous so all volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied and supervised by adults at all times. At least one adult must be present for every six minors.

How many people can we bring to volunteer?

Due to the size of our kitchen, meal groups should not exceed 10-15 people. If your group is larger than that, please consider signing up for more than one meal so that everyone can participate and have a positive experience.

Where can our volunteers park?

Free parking is available in the lot behind our building. This lot is monitored 24/7 by security cameras and is accessible from a driveway just to the left of our building. If our parking lot is full, please do not double park. Instead, we ask that you utilize the free street parking in front of our building. This area also is monitored 24/7 by security cameras.

Will anyone from Louisville Rescue Mission be there to help us?

Yes, a staff member or an after-hours supervisor is always present at the Mission. When you arrive, please come around to the back of the building and look for a short stairwell leading down to our kitchen entrance. Ring the doorbell and our after-hours supervisor will welcome you into the building, acclimate you to the kitchen, and be available to answer any questions you have while you're here.