Almost half of those MUST serves are children, a heartbreaking reality in these desperate economic times. At MUST, our team of volunteers and staff members go beyond the basics to offer extra services to the 15,000 children we serve each year.
Thousands of children who normally eat free and reduced cost lunches at school are home during the summer with little or no food. Most are children of minimum wage workers who must leave their young ones in the care of a neighbor or older child.
This critical situation is overcome in part with the effective MUST Summer Lunch Program. Every weekday for 10 weeks, sack lunches are packed and hand delivered to targeted locations suggested by school counselors throughout the area. Bartow, Cherokee, Cobb, Douglas, Gwinett, North Fulton, Paulding, and Pickens counties are all in the Summer Lunch network where staff, volunteers and donors bring daily meals to grateful children.
Donate Your Time
The Summer Lunch Program is run almost entirely by volunteers, and volunteers are needed five days a week for the entire Summer Break! You are welcome to volunteer a few days during the summer or even each week! Each volunteer task is described in the links below!
This is the most critical need we have! Making Summer Lunches is an ideal team-building activity for families, organizations, businesses, churches, clubs, groups to do together and it has an immediate impact on the community! We even have a Six Weeks til Summer checklistwhere you can collect the much needed items before the program starts.
MUST has been operating the Summer Lunch program for 17 years and we've worked out most the kinks and streamlined the process so we can be sure to serve the most children in the most efficient way. To that end, we do ask that you follow these guidelines to ensure that each child gets a balanced and varied lunch each day!
Monday – Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich, Salty Snack, Sweet Snack, and Juice Box
Tuesday – Ham & Cheese, Salty Snack, Sweet Snack, and Juice Box
Wednesday – Bologna & Cheese Sandwich, Applesauce, Brownie, and Juice Box
Thursday – Ham Sandwich, Salty Snack, Dessert item, and Juice Box
Friday – Turkey & Cheese Sandwich, Salty Snack, Sweet Snack, and Juice Box
- Be sure to wash your hands or use gloves when making sandwiches.
- Please be sure that the preparation area is clean.
- Provide lunches as close to the menu provided as possible.
- Pre-mix peanut butter with jelly before spreading it on bread to increase the shelf-life of the sandwiches.
- Use white or whole wheat bread for the sandwiches.
- Do NOT use condiments.
- Put prepared sandwiches into Ziploc bags (not fold over bags), then place wrapped sandwiches back into the bread bag and twist tie the bag closed.
- Keep the sandwiches refrigerated or in a cooler until they are delivered to host site.
- Put all the other lunch items into the lunch bag.
You are invited to decorate the lunch bags! If you would like to provide an extra treat (i.e. lollipops, candy), please keep it separate from the lunches and it will be handed out to the children. Salty snacks include pretzels, chips, corn chips, cheese on cheese crackers, peanut butter on cheese crackers, etc. Sweet snacks include apple, orange, banana, fruit cup, applesauce, etc.
Summer Lunch Drivers
Drivers are essential to getting lunches into the hands of the children who need them!
Summer Lunch Driver Guidelines:
Mandatory Criteria(All criteria must be met before volunteering as a Driver)
- Drivers must be 25+ years of age with a passenger (no one can drive alone)
- Copy of valid Driver’s LicenseCopy of Insurance Card Vehicle Registration
- Local and National Background Check thru MUST Ministries ($7.95) and must submit a MVR report of at least 3 years (this is a driving record)
Duties of a Driver Hours: Monday - Friday, 10:45AM - 2:00PM For the safety of all involved there must be at least two people in the vehicle to deliver lunches
- Help load crates or boxes into your vehicle, if necessary
- Distribute lunches to children who have a registration form on file
- Rotate crates in your vehicle so that the full crates are near the doors
- Hand out books, toys or other items that may accompany the lunches
- Unload crates at the end of the route
- Return crates to host site
- Pull leftover sandwiches or fruit from the lunch bags and place in the refrigerator*
- All volunteers MUST be 10 years of age or older.*
Summer Lunch Checker/Packer
The Checker/Packer acts as "Quality Control" and ensures that each lunch is a complete, fresh meal!
Summer Lunch Checker/Packer Guidelines:
- Hours: Monday-Friday, 9AM-11AM
- Three volunteers per 200 lunches.
- Check sandwiches to ensure they are fresh and are in a presentable condition (i.e. not smashed or soggy).
- Check fruit to ensure it is not over-ripe or moldy.
- Ensure there are at least three items in each bag: juice, snack and fruit (or one sweet and one salty snack if fruit is not available).
- Pack sandwiches (and/or snacks and fruit, if necessary) into lunch bags.
- Pack 25 complete lunches into crates or boxes, depending on the route.Make sandwiches, if necessary.
- Return extra sandwiches in bread bags with the date they were delivered on each bag.
- Make sure to rotate sandwiches so the oldest ones are used first and freeze.
- Wipe each table down with disinfect spray and prepare for the next day.
For more information how you can get involved contact Paula Rigsby at firstname.lastname@example.org
Christmas morning is exciting for the 4,500 children whose struggling parents come to shop at the MUST Toy Shop. Children in Cherokee and Cobb counties received toys, blankets, stocking stuffers, hats, scarves, gloves, school supplies and a family game.
Thanks to thousands of donations, the Toy Shop is well stocked for each parent to make these special selections for their children.
Volunteers and staff who work in the shop during the month of December claim every family has a gripping story of need and a heart of gratitude toward the miraculous help received.
2013 MUST Christmas Brochure
“MUST has helped me in a lot of ways, including food and clothes. You particularly helped when I thought there was nothing else that I could do for my child at Christmas. Thank you for the Toy Shop,” says client, Shannon.