After stumbling upon a homeless encampment in Oakland, we knew we had to help by in the very least, providing the homeless with a healthy lunch. We had been volunteering that day at the Food Bank and realized there may be a disconnect between the homeless population and the food resources available to them. We had to help these hungry and homeless people secure these food resources. We discovered however that because of CA laws and safety issues with food handling, that our goal to make and deliver meals directly to the homeless was not a viable option. We had to find a homeless program to partner with so that we could better serve this community legally, safely and sustainably.
We sketched a rough business plan, applied and received our CA Food Safety Cert cards, researched food costs, calculated a budget, began our research on writing grant requests and met with a local center that serves the homeless in my home town. We left that meeting with a commitment to come in one day a week to make 35+ lunches for the members they serve every week for the next 52 weeks. We determined the most cost-efficient and environmentally friendly method would be to make a bagged lunch containing a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, banana, snack, dessert and an apple juice box which would cost $65.10/week to make lunch for 35 hungry people. That is a low cost of only $1.90 for each meal provided.
Our project and 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity is named “The Lunch Mission” because in the very least, we hope to help make someone’s life a little better by providing them with a lunch and easing their hunger at least once a week. Our ultimate mission is to assist the less fortunate members of the bay area in establishing a happy and healthy life and we believe that starts with food security.
I'm Audrey Kaplan and I'm the CEO, President and Founder of THE LUNCH MISSION. I'm soon to be 17 years old and a rising senior at Las Lomas High School in Walnut Creek, CA. I’m passionate about environmental sustainability issues, contemporary social issues, helping others and overall civic engagement.
Over the last 3 years, I've served 800+ hours volunteering for the National Charity League and local philanthropies that aim to address the same environmental and contemporary issues that concern me. I've also spent some time volunteering in Nicaragua through the Global Student Embassy program. Please check out Med Share, a humanitarian aid organization which combines my two passions by aiming to improve the quality of life of people and the planet. Talk about inspiring!
When asked which university I hope to attend come the fall of 2019, my response is always: A college that is green, environmentally friendly and one that encourages civic engagement. It will hopefully be on the east coast and it will 100% have a reputable and inspiring science and public health program.
I have a cuddly, long-haired Chihuahua named Gizmo that resembles a fruit bat but thinks he's a lion. In my spare time I enjoy writing songs, playing the ukulele and painting.
I'm Morgan Kaplan and I'm proud to be serving on the board of THE LUNCH MISSION. I'm a third year engineering student at Texas A&M (gig 'em!). There's something about volunteering that drives me like nothing else. I can't help but want to give more, take less and hug everyone. When I'm not studying, working, volunteering or serving my board duties for THE LUNCH MISSION, I can be found with my friends, reading or snuggling with my dog Gizmo.
I'm Georgia Mathers and I'm the Social Media Team Leader for THE LUNCH MISSION. I'm also involved in the operations for the organization. I wanted to manage the social media so that I could help Audrey promote THE LUNCH MISSION. The more people that hear about our mission, the more funding and support we can develop and the more people we can feed! I also enjoy helping with fundraising and volunteer recruitment. It's fun and exciting to be part of the brainstorming and operations of a nonprofit with such a great cause. I'm a rising senior at Las Lomas High School and in my spare time I enjoy surfing, hanging out with my friends and volunteering at John Muir and with Audrey.