PINELLAS HOPE relies on the generosity of individuals and organizations to help provide all three daily meals to its 200+ residents. Since it opened on Dec. 7, 2007, over 2 million meals have been served to over 10,000 individuals helped by Catholic Charities at the shelter.
WHAT DOES “PROVIDING” MEALS ACTUALLY MEAN? It usually takes a large group to prepare, transport and serve a meal for 200 people! That is why so many of our meal providers are organizations with anywhere from six to a dozen volunteers who accompany the food to serve it to the residents. Sometimes an individual family will purchase meals ‘en masse’ (e.g., 75-100 pizzas from Joto’s in Pinellas Park or a buffet from Boston Market). Otherwise, what is required is that the group that volunteers to “provide” a meal does the following:
- – Cook the meal offsite
- – Transport the meal to Pinellas Hope (keeping it warm during en transit to the shelter).
- – Serve the meal to the residents.
The community prepares and serves over 200,000 meals each year. While so many have answered the call, there are always opportunities – open days – for groups to volunteer to prepare and serve a meal. While dinner and lunch are our primary focus, we are nonetheless in need of breakfasts as presently they are typically covered by donations from nearby restaurants (e.g., Panera Bread) and grocers (e.g., Publix). While grateful for their donations breakfasts are unfortunately not particularly healthy as they are typically high in calories, sugars and carbs.
PLEASE NOTE: Pinellas Hope does NOT have a fully functioning kitchen so meals must be prepared offsite and transported to the facility and then served. The kitchen does have refrigerators, freezers and warming stations to keep the ‘hot’ food warm.
WHAT MEAL PROVIDERS TELL US – Our meal donors-providers tell us consistently that preparing meals for the homeless and then serving the meals to the residents is the most gratifying and rewarding experience they have ever experienced. It is an excellent way for YOU to give back and help others by demonstrating the caring and kindness that are so important for those who are suffering and in need. Pinellas Hope residents always enjoy meeting those members of the community who feed them and enjoy sharing their stories and expressing their gratitude at the dinner table.
STUDENTS AND SERVICE HOURS – Preparing and serving a meal at Pinellas Hope is an excellent opportunity for students to earn ‘service hours’; HOWEVER, students must be part of a larger group – organized by their school, a church ministry group or their family.
How it works:
1. Review the meal calendar to see what meals (breakfast, lunch or dinner) are needed on what days and select one of the days-meals which are ‘open’.
2. Call (727-556-6397) or email us to ‘book’ your meal or to inquire if a meal that appears to be filled might have been canceled and is thus available.
3. If not immediately available upon your contacting her, someone will reply within 3 business days to confirm your meal is set. Please be patient as calendars are typically updated weekly. After that time, if you don’t see your meal listed, contact us and ask for Joe Pondolfino.
4. Prepare the meal at your location and deliver it to Pinellas Hope. Please arrive at least 30 minutes before the start of the meal:
- • Breakfast begins at 7:00 am
- • Lunch begins at 1:00 pm
- • Dinner begins at 7:00 pm
NOTE – If for whatever reason you prefer to view these calendars directly in Google (e.g., prefer a larger, nearly full-screen view), click on the links immediately below. We recommend Google Chrome as donors using Internet Explorer have reported difficulties in accessing the calendars using that web browser.
THANK YOU once again for volunteering to help bring dignity to the homeless residents of Pinellas Hope. Your contributions go a long way toward helping heal these men and women so that they can continue to progress in their journey toward returning to self-sufficiency.