Lunch. It's something many of us take for granted. But there are many in our community who put in a full day of manual labor without the benefit of a noon meal. Lunch Is Served, Inc. is a nonprofit with the unique mission of delivering simple sack lunches for working men and women who are attempting to break the chains of poverty and hunger.
The offering of free brown bag lunches represents more than simple nutrition. Each lunch bag is a tangible symbol of community encouragement and support created by volunteers and donations.
Feeding America's Hunger in America 2014 study reported that 68% of households receiving emergency food assistance in South Dakota include at least one employed adult. And, 78% of these households have incomes below the federal poverty level. Although they earn an income, their paychecks, regardless of the employee's race, age, or sex, are committed toward meeting basic living expenses like rent, utilities, etc. For these individuals and their families, food becomes a luxury. In fact, documentation from day labor providers in Sioux Falls confirms that, because of their lack of financial resources, many of the working poor put in full days of manual labor without benefit of a noon meal.
Convinced that this was not only unacceptable but inhumane, a task force of concerned Sioux Falls citizens started to hold round table discussions dedicated to actively addressing this unmet hunger need in our community. As a result of these discussions, Lunch Is Served, Inc. was chartered in 2005. The mission of Lunch Is Served, Inc., a non-profit organization, is to provide a nutritious mid-day meal for the working poor in Sioux Falls.
Lunch Is Served, Inc. actively began serving brown bags lunches in September 2006, and the program continues to grow. In 2014, Lunch Is Served, Inc. provided more than 28,000 lunches to the working poor in our community! Twice a week (Monday evenings and Wed/Thurs. afternoons), volunteers meet at Emmanuel Baptist Church to make sandwiches and pack brown bag lunches. Each sack lunch includes:
After volunteers pack all of the brown bag lunches, they are delivered to local non-profit partners and day labor offices for distribution to the working poor in our community. The meals are placed in refrigeration at each location and distributed to the recipients, free of charge, when they receive a job assignment.
We believe that the lunches distributed through our program provide recipients with both physical and emotional nourishment. The nutritious meals not only meet recipients' physical hunger, but also feed their self esteem and encourage them as they make an effort to move themselves from poverty to financial stability.