What Is It?
A nonprofit that works to “end childhood hunger” by delivering free, fresh, healthy meals, year-round Monday through Friday, to the doorsteps of hungry preschool-aged children who live within the charity’s delivery areas.
Volunteers can help prepare meals, collect needed items, decorate lunch bags, and help with special events. Please contact Kids’ Meals for COVID-related updates.
Minimum Age to Volunteer
Minimum age to volunteer: 8, for kitchen volunteers. Volunteers under age 8 can help by decorating lunch sacks with crayons, markers, and stickers.
Varies. Kitchen volunteers serve for a 2 or 3 hour shift. Shifts are available from Monday – Friday, 9 AM-Noon, and one Saturday a month from 10 AM – Noon. Note: Saturday volunteer opportunities tend to fill up months in advance.
Suitable for Groups of Volunteers?
Basic knowledge of food handling safety preferred, but not required.
VOLUNTEER IN KITCHEN
Volunteers prepare sandwiches, pack lunches, and/or sort groceries at the facility. Each day, Kids’ Meals makes an average of 2,200 lunches that will be delivered on the routes the following day. Lunches prepared on Friday are delivered on Monday. During the summer and school breaks, the number of sandwiches prepared daily increases to 3,500.
MAKE OFF-SITE LUNCH PACKS
Businesses, schools, and other groups are invited to prepare shelf-stable lunch packs at their locations, and Kids’ Meals will pick up the completed packs. For these projects, the volunteers purchase the lunch ingredients, which could include a canned individual entree such as tuna, a stew, or a hearty soup; raisins; pretzels; a juice box; and an encouraging note. Contact Kids’ Meals for more details.
HELP AT HOLIDAYS AND SPECIAL EVENTS
Volunteers have the opportunity to assist the staff during various events throughout the year. Examples include riding with drivers to deliver turkeys at Thanksgiving, delivering hams at Easter, and helping with the client Christmas party. Age requirements depend on the specific event.
DECORATE LUNCH BAGS
Kids’ Meals uses thousands of paper lunch bags every day. Decorated lunch bags can educate, inspire, and cheer the children who receive them. Volunteers are invited to buy standard brown paper lunch bags and decorate them with markers, crayons, stickers, riddles, jokes, mazes, inspiration, or encouragement. (No glitter, please!) Then drop them off at Kids Meals, Monday to Friday, 9 AM to 3 PM. (You can also mail them.) Please email the Volunteer Coordinator for details.
COLLECT NEEDED ITEMS
Food: Juice boxes (100% juice), fruit cups, canned goods, chewy granola bars, rice, beans, peanut butter, jelly, stuffing, gravy, pasta, tuna, shelf-life milk, canned soups or stews, hot or cold cereals, and crackers are always needed.
Zip-Lock Sandwich Bags: Kids’ Meals uses 3,700 resealable sandwich bags a day and welcomes donations of these bags.
Thanksgiving: Kids’ Meals distributes more than 1,500 turkeys and grocery bags each Thanksgiving. Kids’ Meals welcomes donations of canned corn, canned green beans, canned cranberry sauce, stuffing, mashed potatoes & gravy, and macaroni & cheese.
Christmas: In December Kids’ Meals hosts four holiday parties. Each preschool-aged child in the program (and guardian) enjoys free holiday food, entertainment, and community resource information. Kids’ Meals collects toys to distribute to the children and their siblings at the parties, as well as toy gift cards to allow its families, who all live at or below the poverty line, to purchase toys for their children that they know they want.
Please visit the Kids’ Meals Volunteer Page for more information.
Houston, Texas 77018
Houston, Texas 77018
Kids’ Meals Video (3 minutes 31 seconds) (2016):