Meals Ministry

Sunday Night Supper | Monday Night Supper
Bag Lunch Program | Volunteer Opportunites
Donations Needed | Contact

As people of faith, we are called to feed the hungry and to work to eradicate hunger. Many volunteers lead and implement Fourth Church’s Meals Ministry, which provides nutritious meals and welcoming hospitality to those in need through a variety of different year-round programs.

Every Sunday evening, Sunday Night Supper serves 110 to 150 persons in Anderson Hall at Fourth Church.  Every Monday evening, Monday Night Supper serves about 130 guests plus 50 bag lunches to overflow at Catholic Charities (721 N LaSalle Dive). Bag Lunches are distributed at Fourth Church each week, Tuesday through Thursday, to about 200 guests. Volunteers make sandwiches and provide bag lunch supplies once a month for Sarah’s Circle, a transitional shelter for formerly homeless women.  Fourth Church also has a team that makes a hot breakfast for the Lincoln Park Community Shelter once a month.  Additional behind the scenes volunteer teams shop for food and supplies, make sandwiches, prep supplies, unload bulk orders, donate homemade baked goods, and provide other necessary support functions. 

At Fourth Church, we place a high priority on nurturing a sense of community among guests, volunteers, and partner organizations as we live out our mission to be a light in the city. Below you will find descriptions of our programs followed by volunteer information regarding the time commitment and schedule for each role. As you will see, we always have a need for volunteers! We guarantee you will receive far more than what you give.


Meals Ministry Volunteer Opportunities

Sunday Night Supper

Hosted in Fourth Church’s Anderson Hall by Meals Ministry of Fourth Presbyterian Church

  • Guests are invited in at 4:00 p.m.
  • Dinner is served at 5:00 p.m.; guests must be seated at that time in order to
    receive their meal.
  • All are invited to participate in afternoon jazz worship at 4:00 p.m. in Buchanan Chapel.

General Service Volunteer in Anderson Hall
No training necessary. Pouring refreshments, assisting guests with their food trays, hospitality, and clean up. Time commitment is 3:45–6:00 p.m. Children 12 and older with an adult are welcome.  Sign up to volunteer here.

Kitchen Volunteer
Some experience helpful. Under the direction of the Kitchen Supervisor prepares, cooks, and serves the Sunday Supper. Casual wear including hair cover is recommended; no jewelry. Volunteers must be sixteen years of age or older. Menu and food supplied by Fourth Church. Time commitment is 2:00–6:00 p.m. Sign up to volunteer here.

Seeking individuals or pairs to wash dinner trays and serving pieces. This is an important behind-the-scenes role and does not require any previous experience–only a willingness to help! Time commitment is 5:30–7:00 p.m. Sign up to volunteer here.

Groups should contact Mike Usiak directly. For consideration please include a few dates that you are available to volunteer.

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Monday Night Supper

Sponsored by Meals Ministry of Fourth Presbyterian Church and served at Catholic Charities (721 N. LaSalle; 312.655.7700)

  • Line up for entry at 4:00 p.m.
  • Guests invited in at 4:15 p.m.
  • Dinner is served at 5:00 p.m.

General Volunteer Service
Meals are served at Catholic Charities (721 N. LaSalle St.) Volunteers may be asked to assemble bag lunches, plate desserts, create and pour beverages, work the serving line, and assist with kitchen and dining room cleanup. More experienced volunteers are asked to provide leadership and supervision. Time commitment varies. Sign up to volunteer here.

Groups should contact Mike Usiak directly. Dates should be scheduled 2 to 3 months in advance, depending on the size of the group. 

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Bag Lunch Program

Hosted by Meals Ministry in the Fourth Church Loggia and Anderson Hall

  • Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m.
  • One bag lunch per week
  • Guests may be registered during this time
  • A resource information table is available

Assembly Volunteer Service
Volunteering in the Parish House Basement/EDSSC West Room includes compiling sacks, packing all lunch items, and preparing and delivering the cart for Distribution.  Includes lifting of bulky bins and boxes. Time commitmentis from 10:40 a.m. to 12:00 noon. Email access is required. Volunteers sign up for the schedule on a quarterly basis. 

Distribution Volunteer Service in Anderson Hall
No training necessary. Volunteers assist with checking-in guests (requires Excel computer skills), handing out lunches, pouring beverages, and clean up. Time commitment is from 11:50 a.m. to 1:10 p.m. Email access is required. Volunteers sign up for the schedule on a quarterly basis. 

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Volunteer Opportunities

To volunteer with Meals Ministry, see the opportunities available below and contact Robert Crouch (312.981.3382).

  • Baking Team
    Individuals contribute homemade baked goods to be served at Monday Night Supper. Quantity usually serves 12. Items can be dropped off at Fourth Church on Sunday at anytime or Monday before 2:00 p.m., or dropped at Catholic Charities on Monday by 4:00 p.m. Email access is required. Volunteers sign up for the schedule on a quarterly basis. 
  • Shoppers
    Individuals with vehicles purchase a list of needed food and supplies for various meal programs (produce, drink mixes, sandwich making supplies, etc.). Work is done on your chosen timetable, but on a scheduled basis. Costco membership is a plus!  Time commitment is 2-3 hours, usually monthly. Email access is required. Volunteers sign up for the schedule on a quarterly basis. 
  • Sandwich Making
    Regularly scheduled weekend or weekday crews of individuals bulk assemble and package single sandwiches for Meals Ministry programs throughout each month. All supplies provided.  No experience necessary. Time commitment is 1-2 hours. Email access is necessary to respond to request for volunteers.
  • Packers
    Individuals organize and pack supplies at Fourth Church for transport to Catholic Charities. Can be done on Sunday mornings—a perfect opportunity before or after worship. Time commitment is about 30 minutes. Email or cell phone access is required. Scheduled Sign up is usually scheduled on a quarterly basis.
  • Transport
    Individuals with vehicles load and transport the supplies for Monday Night Supper to Catholic Charities, to arrive between 2:30-3:30 pm. Return of same supplies to Fourth Church is needed at 6:00 p.m. Email or cell phone access is required.  Scheduled in advance, usually quarterly.
  • Bulk Supply Order Receiving & Unloading
    Requires heavy lifting (50 lbs.) and cell phone access. Orders received on second and fourth Monday mornings of every month. Time commitment is about two hours.  
  • Group Service Hours
    We always can use your volunteer spirit in many different capacities. Sometimes we need to repackage snacks, fruit, or vegetables into personal sized bags for our Bag Lunch, roll silverware for the Sunday Supper, or do some general cleaning and organizing of our shelves and cabinets. For more information, contact Mike Usiak.
  • Service Projects
    The Meals Ministry is looking for partners to sponsor our hot meals programs. We would love to partner with a neighborhood restaurant that can provide a hot, nutritious meal for 150 of our guests. We may also open our kitchen to a group (up to 8 volunteers) willing to prepare a meal in advance. This could be on a weeknight or afternoon or Saturday. 

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Donations Needed

The Meals Ministry is very grateful for the support of the members of Fourth Church, the staff, local businesses, and the greater community in helping us in our mission to feed the hungry. The Meals Ministry also has a responsibility to our guests to ensure the safety and quality of the food we provide them; therefore, we can only accept food that meets our guidelines.

Snacks for Sacks

  • Sack lunches are provided every week, resulting in about 5000 snack items needed monthly. Individually-packaged, single-servings of salty, sweet, or fruit snacks are always needed. To support this Ministry, you may leave donations with Reception marked “Meals Ministry.” A downloadable flyer indicating the types of items needed is available here.

Guest items

  • Puzzle books, particularly Word Search, or decks of cards are appreciated. 
  • “Forever” postage stamps are very appreciated to be use for greeting cards and letters sent by guests. We affix the stamp on the envelope when presented by the guest.
  • Our guests cannot receive proper nutrition if they cannot chew properly, so oral hygiene is important. Many of our guests do not get oral care on a regular basis.  Sample-size toothpaste and mouthwash, as well as full-sized soft toothbrush donations would be gratefully appreciated.

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To volunteer or for information, complete the downloadable volunteer interest form and contact Robert Crouch (312.981.3382) or Mike Usiak (312.981.3599).

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Meals Ministry Photos

Monday Night and Sunday Night Christmas Suppers | December 2011