Bunches of Lunches FAQ

Bunches of Lunches: Frequently Asked Questions


Why do I need to pre-register?

We at JVC encourage volunteers to pre-register their meals as early as possible, even if the number of bagged meals isn’t exact.

Our recipient organizations can only accept a certain number of bagged meals due to their space limitations. So when we know approximately how many meals to expect, we can then move forward in determining which organizations we are able to serve, and how many bagged meals each of these organizations will receive. When we have 200 unregistered meals, for example, we know that we could have added another recipient organization if we had only known ahead of time.

We are not able to just drop by these organizations at the last minute—this takes planning ahead, especially when safety procedures for physical distancing have to be discussed. We aim to finalize our recipients the Friday before our Monday collections, so we encourage all volunteers to register by Friday at noon if possible.

To register your bagged meals, visit jvcbaltimore.org/lunches.

How do I know where exactly to drop off my bagged meals?

You will receive an email with specific drop off instructions leading up to collection day. Both Beth El Congregation and Krieger Schechter Day School have developed procedures that allow for safety and physical distancing. These procedures will be communicated to all volunteers ahead of time.

Do the meals have to be kosher?

No, the meals do not have to be kosher.

Are there eco-friendly alternatives to bottled water?

Yes. If you are concerned about the environment, boxed water is a great alternative to bottled water. While water is certainly preferred, juice boxes are also acceptable.

Is there a demand for meals that meet certain dietary restrictions (gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, etc.)?

Peanut butter & jelly is often requested by our partners as a vegetarian option for their communities. We have not heard of a need for gluten-free or dairy-free options from our partners at this time, though these items are appreciated in anticipation of these needs that may arise.

If your meals do meet specific dietary needs, please be sure to label the bags as such.

What goes in the bagged meal?

Each bagged meal should include:

  • Sandwich or wrap: Could be PB&J, hummus, or lunch meat. Please label the sandwich with its ingredients.
  • Fruit: Could be a piece of fruit, a fruit cup, or applesauce.
  • Snack: Chips, cookies, pretzels, etc.
  • Bottle of water

Should I use paper or plastic bags?

While paper bags are more environmentally friendly, our partners have expressed that either paper or gallon size plastic bags are fine with them. Feel free to use your discretion!

I want to include a card but I’m not sure what to say. What types of messages work best?

Cards should always be simple and positive. Some suggested messaging includes:

  • Thinking of you!
  • Have a great day!
  • Enjoy your meal!

Who receives the bagged meals?

These bagged meals are donated to several of our local service partners. These organizations and shelters benefit individuals and families facing food insecurity. Some past recipients have included:

  • Baltimore Rescue Mission
  • Basilica Place
  • Charm City Care Connection
  • Manna House
  • Our Daily Bread
  • Soccer Without Borders
  • Francis Neighborhood Center
  • The Grace Foundation

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