Keep a bag of nonperishable food in your car. The next time you pass a person standing on a street corner holding a sign asking for help, you’ll have a handy lunch you can pass along with a smile!
Blessings in a Bag is a program adopted by many of the churches in our diocese. It’s very simple to organize. Purchase the following items in whatever quantity you need to make the amount of bags you wish to assemble:
- Individual servings of Vienna sausages or other protein
- Individual servings of applesauce or fruit
- Granola bars (soft and chewy, no chocolate coating)
- Peanut butter and crackers/Cheese and crackers
- Small water bottle
- Plastic spoon
- Wet wipe or small hand sanitizer
- Prayer/211 information
- Paper lunch bags
You can adjust this list however you wish. Some churches add a pair of clean sox to each bag, others add nuts or dried fruits, some include peppermints during the holidays. The possibilities are endless!
If you purchase your items at Costco or Smart and Final or another bulk-discount store, the cost is typically a little over $1 per bag for 100 bags. You can ask parishioners to donate a dollar or two when they pack their bags to help recoup costs.
Set up the contents for the bags on a long table just outside your church doors. As people exit after services one Sunday, have them go through the line and pack a bag or two, adding one protein, one fruit, one granola bar, and so forth as they walk down the line. Parishioners then take the bags they’ve packed with them when they leave church so they can brighten someone’s day with a handy lunch.
Bags pre-decorated by children in Sunday school are especially welcomed by the folks we encounter!
Try hosting Blessings in a Bag at your church!
For more information, contact: Sarah Shealy Stump, firstname.lastname@example.org