Community Lunch on Capitol Hill Programs
Community Lunch provides full and nutritionally balanced hot meals to guests. In addition to the main dish we serve salad, vegetables, dessert and fresh fruit. Guests are welcome to line up for seconds and even thirds if they are still hungry. Volunteers also make sandwiches and boil eggs for guests and we usually have full loaves of bread that people take with them.
In addition to hot meals, Community Lunch provides direct services to assist guests in breaking the cycle of homelessness. We collaborate with the Capitol Hill Community Resources Council to provide a social worker. Seattle Mental Health Chaplaincy brings trained staff to each meal to provide information and referrals for guests. Medical students from Country Doctor Clinic offer blood pressure and glucose tests, advice and referrals to the clinic. We work with the health department to provide flu shots, condoms and health alerts. DESC is on site regularly working to house guests who are homeless and mentally ill.
Community Lunch believes strongly in its mission to "create community." We count many guests among our volunteers. Seattle University and UW provide students through their service learning programs. We partner with Seattle Public Schools to bring developmentally disabled students. We host many youth volunteer groups all through the year from all over the Pacific Northwest and from even further afield
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Community Lunch has been successful at keeping up with a huge increase in demand. Economic troubles are very visible among homeless and very low income people, and we are providing more hot meals than ever before. Our per-meal average is now 250, and we frequently see more than 350 at a single meal. Through our various collaborations we have also been successful at moving some long-term homeless guests into housing and in getting benefits for homeless people who have never had them before.
In 2011 Community Lunch started a third weekly meal, a supper at All Pilgrims Church also on Capitol Hill. Members of All Pilgrims have been enthusiastic volunteers and made this supper with their time and financial support.