Donate a Meal

Donate a Meal2022-10-14T20:43:31+00:00

A fresh cooked meal makes a difference.

Update June 2022

Half our residents have returned to the shelter! You can sign up for any open spots to donate and/or serve a meal. You will need to provide food for 20 residents, and please note the importance of our food safety guidelines. We are not a licensed kitchen, so meals cannot be prepared on-site.

Pick a time slot here, or contact our Director of Culinary Services, Jenny Puhl at 612-552-9271. If you are not able to serve, please still feel free to sign up for meal donation. Your help is so appreciated. Rules and ideas below.

We are looking for groups of up to six people, to cook a meal off-site in a licensed community kitchen, or you may cook purchased retail foods onsite, but they must be unopened and labeled (e.g. Take and Bake Lasagna, retail meal items like Costco or Simek’s). We are not licensed to cook from scratch, so we rely heavily on donated food and groups to bring in meals. We can also have food from a restaurant brought in. Pizza Ranch in Andover will give a discount if you tell them it is for Stepping Stone. We also allow sandwiches to be prepared here if the group brings the “fixings”- it is totally up to you. We provide the plates, utensils, beverages, and clean up. Masks must be worn at all times in the shelter.

It is a fun activity and the residents are so appreciative of a community prepared meal. Lunch is served at 11:30 am-12:30 pm, so please arrive no later than 11:00 am. Dinner is served from 4:45-5:45  pm, so please plan to arrive at 4:15 pm so we can get everything set up and ready to go. We ask that you plan food for approximately 20 people. **In the interest of respecting all our guests needs, we ask that you refrain from pork products of any kind.**

Per food safety guidelines, all meals brought into Stepping Stone need to be prepared in a licensed kitchen. For any questions about what this means, please contact our Director of Culinary Services, Jenny Puhl at 612-552-9271.

Sign up to Donate a Meal

Resident Meal Ideas

  • Assorted deli meat and cheese sandwiches
  • Home baked goods (this is fine to be made in your own kitchen)
  • Ice cream treats
  • Delivered pizza, pop, ice, and salad
  • All beef hot dogs and beef hamburgers (can be grilled onsite with our grill)
  • Store bought traditional yellow mustard potato salad
  • Store bought pasta salads
  • Deli wings and sauces
Frequently Asked Questions
Which volunteer opportunities are best for individuals or groups?2019-11-25T16:04:39+00:00

All Stepping Stone Volunteer needs can be met by individuals or groups. Some of the options that are best suited to groups include:

  • Kitchen servers
  • Donate A Dinner (great for groups of 4-7-only 4 in the kitchen)
  • Small Group Activity Leaders
  • “Handyman” Help as Team
  • Cleaning, Decorating & Sorting as a Team
What is the minimum age requirement for volunteers?2018-11-19T16:37:51+00:00

We ask that children be at least 10 years of age to volunteer. Please plan to have a one-to-one adult-to-child ratio for all volunteers under the age of 18.

What is the volunteer time commitment?2018-11-19T16:37:21+00:00

We are so grateful that you are interested in volunteering at Stepping Stone and gratefully accept as much or as little time as you can give. We have a variety of opportunities for short term, long term, or occasional volunteers. We’ve found that volunteers get the most out of their experience when they volunteer at least once per month, but that is entirely up to each volunteer. Most volunteer shifts range from 1 hour (food pick up) to 4 hours (front office assistant).

What kind of training do volunteers receive?2018-11-19T16:36:49+00:00

It depends on what kind of volunteer work you choose.  For example, we want to make it easy to Donate A Dinner, so Level 1 Volunteers don’t require any specific training. On the other hand, Level 4 Volunteers work one-on-one with residents, so they are required to attend training and orientation.  Our goal is for you to have a successful and rewarding experience supporting Stepping Stone and our residents, so training requirements are specific to each volunteer role.

How do I become a volunteer?2022-07-27T20:34:48+00:00

It’s easy!  APPLY ONLINE or contact Jeff Conner at 763-370-5744 or

Do you conduct background checks and fingerprint volunteers?2022-07-27T20:40:21+00:00

Stepping Stone may choose to conduct a background check and fingerprint volunteers. For the safety of our residents, volunteers who have direct interactions with residents can expect a background check and to be fingerprinted by a professional organization. Volunteers who have limited interactions with residents may or may not have a background check or be fingerprinted at Stepping Stone’s discretion.

Easiest way to bring joy into the shelter?

Bring a fresh cooked meal.

Our Mission

Support individuals 18 and over who are experiencing homelessness by accelerating the growth of available shelter that brings education and solutions to our homeless response.

Our Vision

Provide a safe and inclusive community response to ending homelessness for all.

Our Guiding Principles & Values

Empower individuals to change their lives

-Treat all with dignity and respect

Collaborate with partners in providing services

-Ensure strong stewardship in managing resources

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