Feeding Las Vegas

Church packs free lunch & breakfast for homeless

Feeding Las Vegas

The Brown Baggers

Even in Las Vegas, someone is watching out for those whose luck has gone bad.

Volunteers arrive at the First Presbyterian Church hall at 8 a.m. on the last Saturday of every month to make 450 brown bag breakfasts and lunches to hand out to the area's homeless.

Each of the Brown Baggers, as they're called, brings one or two dozen hard-boiled eggs and two or three dozen cookies, preferably homemade. Then they get to work assembling sandwiches and stuffing paper bags.

"This terrific group of dedicated people has such a good time as they busily perform their tasks," says Kay Fine, a deacon at the church. "We feel blessed by the camaraderie. And those of us who do it feel dedicated to it. At least 20 to 25 of the 30 volunteers have come every month for 5 years now."

The 200 breakfast bags usually include a hard-cooked egg, breakfast bar, applesauce and juice. The 250 brown bag lunches are typically filled with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, fresh carrots, applesauce, chips and a few homemade cookies. All 450 bags have an illustrated Bible verse in English and Spanish enclosed. Each bag is accompanied by a bottle of water.

Beth More, also a deacon, often uses Taste of Home recipes to make the cookies she brings, Kay notes. Her favorite recipe is Almond Chocolate Cookies from Taste of Home, but her Chocolate Drop Cookies are also quite popular.

When all the sandwiches are made and all the bags are packed, group members head to an area in Las Vegas known as "the zone" near the Salvation Army, where a large population of homeless is found. The lunches are handed out to those who line up for them, while the breakfast bags are delivered to Amazing Grace ministry, which distributes them the next morning during its Sunday sermon.

The meals are well received by those in line. "They're always very polite, very thankful," says Kay.

"We love to do this. There's not a one of us who ever misses it if we have any choice. It's in our hearts, and we just show up. We feel touched that we can do something to help—even if it's not much. It is truly a wonderful way to be Christ's hands here in our own little corner of the globe."

Beth More, also a deacon, often uses Taste of Home recipes to make the cookies she brings, Kay notes. Her favorite recipe is Almond Chocolate Cookies from Taste of Home, but her Chocolate Drop Cookies are also quite popular.


 
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