Lunch Bag Service, Northern California

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As part of Lunch Bag Service program, our volunteers deliver 150 lunch bags on Saturdays/Sundays throughout the year to local shelters to feed the homeless and needy in our local community in Silicon Valley, Northern California. Note that due to Covid19, this service to Sunnyvale Homeless HomeFirst shelter has been discontinued since March, 2020. We hope to resume it in 2022. In the meantime, LifeMoves needs help with their Meal Program. Please see below for detailed instructions if you would like to help LifeMoves homeless shelters.

Project details

  • Information : Please see Grocery list below for detailed information about the Lunch Bag Service program or click here: Please also see the Guidelines below before hosting the service.
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  • Category : Featured Projects, Local Projects,


  • Sunnyvale HomeFirst homeless shelter, is no longer accepting food prepared at home due to COCID-19 pandemic. So our regular sign-ups for Lunch Bag Seva is currently suspended.  We hope to resume when Home First revises its policy.
  • Another homeless shelter, LifeMoves in San Jose/Mountain View, needs your help with their Meals Program and would gladly accept similar PBJ bagged lunches (with PBJ sandwich, fruits, cereal/trail bar, 100% fruit juice or water, napkin) that we used to provide Sunnyvale shelter as long as volunteers are vaccinated and follow safe meal preparation practices. LifeMoves also indicated that any kind of light complements to bagged lunches (boiled eggs, spread, etc.) would also be most welcome. Please see below for sign-up instructions.


What is Lunch Bag Service?

As part of Lunch Bag Service program, our volunteers deliver lunch bags to local shelters or soup kitchens to feed the homeless and needy in our local community in Silicon Valley, Northern California. These lunch bags are distributed to the homeless residents by the shelter.

What does each lunch bag contain?

Each lunch bag contains a peanut butter jelly sandwich (in a zip-lock bag), a fruit (banana or orange), juice, cereal/trail mix bar and a napkin. We try to keep the lunch bags healthy.

What shelters does Lunch Bag Service serve?
  • Sunnyvale HomeFirst shelter (
    • 150 bagged lunches are delivered to shelter on Saturdays & Sundays by volunteers after 5:30 pm.
    • Address:  999 Hamlin Ct, Sunnyvale. The shelter is off Mathilda, on the corner of Ross & Hamlin.
  • Life Moves (
    • LifeMoves runs 4 shelters in downtown San Jose and one in Mountain View. The capacity of the 4 shelters in San Jose are between 50-80 people and the Mountain View shelter is 100 people. The shelters in San Jose are close to each other. So if you would like to maintain the same 150 sandwich count, it might be possible to sign up in a couple of shelters on the same day and deliver in multiple locations.
    • Bagged lunches need to be delivered to the shelter locations around 11:30 am.
Food Safety guidance
  • Proof of negative TB test:  Please provide a copy of a negative TB test dated less than 2-years old.
  • Food Safety Certificates:  Food safety certificates can be obtained by taking an online food safety class (about 90 minutes, cost about $10) .
  • Please see LifeMoves’ Meal Providers’ Manual  and  Healthy Food and Beverage policy here.
What is the overall process?
  • Host families sign up to host lunch bag service in their homes. See below for sign-up instructions.
  • Host families need to get groceries prior to the service. Please use the grocery list provided.
  • The cost of grocery is about $250 to make 150 lunch bags and roughly $80 to make 50 lunch bags.
  • With 6-7 adult volunteers and 6-7 middle/high school kids, it should take less than 2 hours to make the bagged lunches. Student volunteers will get credit for volunteer hours.
  • Host family has to deliver the bagged lunches to the assigned shelter. The shelter will provide a receipt for the donation that can be used for tax purposes.
How do we sign up?
  • For Sunnyvale shelter, HomeFirst: Caring Hands maintains a signup sheet. If you would like to sign up, please email our Lunch Bag Service coordinator at
  • For LifeMoves shelter, please sign up directly with LifeMoves on their  SIGN UP webpage. This Sign Up page is used for breakfast, lunch and dinner. For lunch, please sign up for open middle slots. If the slot is marked “full” on the calendar, it is closed.
Once we sign up, what do we do?
  • The grocery list for 150 lunch bags is here.
  • Hosting Lunch Bag seva is easy but if you can volunteer at another Lunch Bag service you could get a better idea on what is involved. If you cannot, it would be helpful if somebody who has already hosted a lunch bag service volunteers at your home for your lunch service.
  • If you don’t have enough volunteers or have any questions/concerns, please send email to