FAQS

How many people does Community Lunch serve?

Community Lunch serves a full hot meal to an average of 250 people each Tuesday and Friday at Central Lutheran Church and an average of 150 people each Wednesday & Thursday at All Pilgrims Church. Community Lunch served over 50,000 meals in 2015.


Who qualifies to eat at Community Lunch?

Everyone is welcome to eat at Community Lunch. Our meals are always free and open to all with no sign-in or other requirements.


Who does Community Lunch serve?

About 60% of guests are homeless and 40% are low income. Our surveys indicate that about 15% of guests at each meal have not eaten with us before. 


How long has Community Lunch existed?

Community Lunch began serving lunch 30 years ago on January 3rd, 1985. It was formed by a group of Lutheran churches known as the Cooperative Community Lunch, and they served just 10 people at the first meal. Community Lunch became a 501(c)3 non-profit in 2003. 


How many staff members does Community Lunch have?

Community Lunch has just 6 part-time employees. Nearly all the work preparing, cooking and serving each meal is done by volunteers. More than 2,000 people volunteer each year.


Where does Community Lunch get its food from?

Most food is donated from food distributors, grocery stores and restaurants. Each year, Community Lunch recovers tons of high-quality food from restaurants and supermarkets that would otherwise go to waste. We also receive produce and bread from the Capitol Hill Farmers Market. Community Lunch has a van and driver responsible for coordinating donations.


What other services does Community Lunch provide?

In addition to hot meals, we work with partners to provide on-site survival services, including sleeping bags, coats, socks, medical assistance, flu shots, benefits experts and a book exchange.


What is the annual budget for Community Lunch?

Our annual budget is $300,000, which includes food and kitchen supplies, staff, transportation, fundraising, and insurance. This does not include in-kind donations, which raises the budget to more than $1 million annually. 


Where does Community Lunch's funding come from?


Who volunteers at Community Lunch?

We host groups from throughout the region and around the country, including many schools, churches, businesses and community groups. We also have many individuals who volunteer once or on a regular basis.