Healthy Meal Packets for the Homeless

A Peacemaking Project by Ava T.

What is the injustice we are solving?

Driving around town, and walking around outdoor malls, I see many homeless people begging for money and/or food. Healthy meal packets will provide the people with nutritious snacks while avoiding giving out plain cash. While donating cash is still beneficial in most cases, the provider has no clue to what the man or woman plans to spend it on. With the packets, we will still be helping, but in a safer and more knowledgeable way.

Our Compassionate Solution:

To solve this injustice of How homeless people do not have enough money for healthy snacks, so therefore go for the unhealthy, cheap options.
we will address How homeless people are not able to purchase healthy snack options.
by packaging healhty fod packages to pass out for the homeless, in place of giving them money.

Our Project Plan:

Goals

  • To decrease the amount of starving/ malnourished people in my community.

We will increase my / our compassion by...

packaging meals with healthy snack options for the homeless around Charlottesville, VA.

How will you show courage?

I will show courage by sticking to my plan and encouraging others to join my project.

How will you collaborate with others?

I will collaborate with others by encouraging the people around me to join my project by either helping me make my care packages or by making their own.

How will you know you are moving in the right direction? (What are specific ways you can measure your impact?)

I know I will be moving in the right direction when I see others also packaging meals to hand out to the homeless, and seeing the homeless accept the healthy snack packages.

Key Steps

  • Collect all ingredients.
  • Make an assembly line to fill the packages in a timely fashion.
  • Hand out the packages to homeless people who need food.

Comments:

Adrian B.
8 June 2018 13:38

Hi Ava!

Looking forward to reading your reflection soon. :) Let us know if you need more time to complete your project.

Best,
Adrian  

Adrian B.
15 March 2018 10:47

Hi Ava--just sent the email again. Let me know if you don't receive it!  

RaulPF C.
15 March 2018 10:42

Hi Ava,
I just wanted to see that I am excited to see how your project has continued progressing.
Raul  

Ava T.
14 March 2018 15:40

Could you please resend the link to my email address? thanks  

Adrian B.
13 March 2018 16:53

Hi Ava--let me know if you're having trouble finding that email, and I can send it to you again!

Now I understand what you're thinking about! I'm wondering about if this is something donors expect in other situations, when they do give money. If they don't expect to know exactly where the money is going in other situations, why do you think that is? Interested in digging deeper into that with you. I wonder also if every homeless person views this issue the same way--have you interviewed folks with our Talking to Others tool yet? https://www.peacefirst.org/resource/understand-1-talking-others Love the way you're engaging and going deep on this topic--I'm excited to think more with you about this! :)  

Kelsey T.
13 March 2018 12:41

Hi Ava -- Just jumping in to answer your question about the grant money. Adrian sent you an e-mail with a link to a webform that you should fill out -- that will give us the information we need to get the funds to you. If you didn't receive the e-mail let us know and we'll send it again. Thanks!  

Ava T.
12 March 2018 10:36

Thanks so much! I am so excited to start this project. Also, I did not mean to say that giving homeless people money was bad, I meant that if you give them a meal package, the donor would just know exactly what their donation would be going to. In addition, how can I send you my contact information for the grant money?  

Adrian B.
9 March 2018 15:17

Hi Ava,

Congratulations! Your project has been selected to receive a Peace First Challenge mini-grant. We will be in touch soon with details about this payment.

The mini-grant process is also a space for you to get feedback on your peacemaking project. We hope you will use this feedback to further strengthen your project. Please see the feedback on your mini-grant below.

Strengths:

I love how you're focused on providing nutritional food, and that you've identified the injustice as a lack of resources causing inequity in terms of access to healthy food. I love that you've taken some of the thoughts we included to heart, and that you're looking to involve others in your project.

I also appreciate that you're focused on showing compassion and courage--often people simply ignore homeless people's requests for funding, and you're making a plan to acknowledge and care for people who don't have houses. I admire that very much!

Opportunities for growth:

Overall, the insight makes sense, except for one piece: I am concerned about the idea that folks should not give homeless people money. Advocating refusal of monetary resources to a marginalized group is not a socially just approach. Here's some more information about why this is important around houselessness: https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2017/10/why-you-should-give-money-directly-and-unconditionally-homeless-people

This project is not about giving houseless people money, and that's totally OK! I'm not saying that you should change your project--just that it's important to make sure we aren't accidentally spreading oppressive ideas in the work we do. We support the project plan you have overall, but we do need you to think deeply about the language you're using and consider making a change. Let me know if you have questions/thoughts about how to do this.

I encourage you to use the project as an opportunity to deepen their understanding of the root causes to come up with a longer term solution in the future. Keep thinking and learning from the people you are supporting with the project. I know you've worked with homeless folks before, and there's always room to learn, keep an open mind, and continue to return to root causes. Whenever we're working in solidarity with a group we're not a part of, it's so important to take the lead from them! https://www.peacefirst.org/projects/test-project-3/dashboard/understand-injustice

Really excited to hear more! Keep up the phenomenal work. Congratulations and best of luck with your project!

Best,
Adrian  

Adrian B.
1 March 2018 15:41

YAYYY!! WE ARE TOO!  

Adrian B.
1 March 2018 13:05

Hi Ava--I love hearing about all the volunteering and work you've already done on this issue. So cool! Have you interviewed some members of the houseless community to see what their most urgent needs are, and what their ideas are about your plan? They may have some more thoughts about how to support your plan in making it even more awesome! :)  

Ava T.
1 March 2018 9:44

I applied for the mini-grant!!! So excited!!!  

Ava T.
1 March 2018 9:44

I applied for the mini-grant!!! So excited!!!  

Adrian B.
1 March 2018 9:31

Hi Ava--thanks for your question! What article are you hoping to submit?  

Ava T.
28 February 2018 20:53

Hi, I need to know what I need to do to submit my article. Could you help me? Thanks!  

Ava T.
26 February 2018 14:21

Thanks!! I am ready to finish up my project ideas so I can start working in it! could you please tell me what else I have to do? Thanks, Ava  

Ava T.
26 February 2018 14:20

Perfect! I have read some things about homeless people, and have also volunteered numerous times at the church's food bank. I have also helped out with a group called Pacem, which supports women, men, children, and families who do not have homes. They give them a place to sleep, and we help by making food for them and talking to them and playing games with them!! I now know a lot about this topic, and believe that the homeless would really benefit from the meal packets!  

PeaceFirst A.
23 February 2018 10:09

Hi Ava!

Thanks again so much for posting this project.

As part of the Peace First project-making process, we give formal feedback on your compassionate insight. Once your insight is all set, then you can move forward with your mini-grant application if you need funds to help move your idea into action!

I admire how your project uses compassion to address an important injustice. I was wondering if you have spent time talking to some of the homeless people you are hoping to support to understand why they are buying the unhealthy snacks or to understand how they see your solution supporting them. As Adrian mentioned, we have a tool that can help you think a bit more before you talk to them to prepare the questions you want to ask and the process you want to follow: https://www.peacefirst.org/resource/understand-1-talking-others

I would love to see if this helps you clarify your insight a bit more.

I'd love to see how else we can continue supporting your work

Raul

 

Adrian B.
12 February 2018 9:26

Hi Ava!

Thanks so much for posting this! I'm glad to see that you're thinking about how to support houseless people in your city. It's an important job!

One thing that can help deepen the already-important work you're doing is to talk to people who are houseless, and to the groups that cause homelessness to happen. When you talk to both groups, you'll gain a deeper understanding of why this is happening, and you'll get to learn from people who are directly affected by this to understand what their priorities and needs are. Understanding the root causes of homelessness will help you address it at the root. https://www.peacefirst.org/resource/understand-1-talking-others

https://www.vox.com/2016/3/8/11173304/homeless-in-america
https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2017/10/why-you-should-give-money-directly-and-unconditionally-homeless-people

Have you connected to other groups doing work advocating for houseless people? Here are some resources if you're looking to learn more from people who are affected by and/or also working on this huge injustice:

Nonprofits working on ending homelessness:

https://endhomelessness.org/ending-homelessness/solutions/
http://www.coalitionforthehomeless.org/ending-homelessness/proven-solutions/
https://insp.ngo/

Solutions for ending homelessness:
http://www.businessinsider.com/tiny-homes-give-homeless-people-a-place-to-live-2016-1/
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/4-simple-ways-to-end-homelessness_us_58a45fe9e4b080bf74f04294
https://thinkprogress.org/it-would-actually-be-very-simple-to-end-homelessness-forever-d6f15852b2ec/
https://www.theguardian.com/housing-network/2017/mar/22/finland-solved-homelessness-eu-crisis-housing-first

Papers run by houseless people:
http://sparechangenews.net/
https://www.homelessvoice.org/newspapers/
https://www.thepilgrim.org/about-the-pilgrim

I hope that these resources are useful! Acknowledging and supporting houseless people is something that everyone should be doing, but many people avoid. Thank you for what you're doing!

Let me know if you have any questions or need support in thinking about your next steps. :) I'm excited to support you however possible, and to watch this project grow!

Best,
Adrian