Gail Doeff and “The Lunch Squad”

Before Covid I was a regular volunteer at Connections for the Homeless, where I worked as a receptionist and greeter. Once the pandemic hit and many Connections clients were moved to area hotels, I knew I could put my cooking skills to good use (I am a trained pastry chef). I recruited a volunteer crew and started a project cooking and delivering 60 hot lunches twice a week.

A year and a half later “The Lunch Squad” is still going strong cooking in a local church kitchen for residents of the Margarita Inn. Some favorite meals include Greek chicken, taco bowls, homemade macaroni and cheese, “breakfast for lunch,” hearty soups and chili as well as an array of homemade breads and baked goods. We always include a salad or fresh fruit.

I’m not sure how I would have survived the past 18 months without the Lunch Squad. The project has allowed me to nurture my community through food (I am a Jewish mother after all!) while also creating a wonderful group of devoted volunteer friends, many of whom were strangers when this journey began. Margaret Mead’s famous quote has new meaning to me: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed individuals can change the world. In fact, it’s the only things that ever has.”

**The original Lunch Squad quartet**

Beth Emet has so many amazing members, each offering unique talents to the greater community. Share your news with all of us so we can both celebrate and get to know one another a bit better…. Especially during these (mostly) virtual times. Send your news to Bekki Kaplan, and if possible, please include a photo!