Love your neighbor: Packing hygiene kits, lunches and sandwiches during the pandemic

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There are things we can do to “love our neighbor” even during a pandemic! It is certainly good for the folks receiving our efforts (of course!) but its also good to get out of our own heads and think about someone else while creating a little “good news”.

You can do something like this, too. And at the bottom of this page, I’ll show you how to contact me and I’ll see to it your effort ends up being provided to someone in need.

Packing Hygiene Kits

We gathered a group of eight people (10 or fewer), maintained six feet of distance and set up two packing lines to assemble 100 hygiene kits for our homeless friends in the Twin Cities.

The kits included: shampoo, body wash, conditioner, lotion (all the aforementioned were “trial sized”), comb, washcloth, non perishable food item (like a granola bar), a razor, deodorant, toothpaste and toothbrush, socks, a list of open restrooms in Minneapolis and inspirational reading material.

We had A LOT of items in these kits, but you can keep it simple – toothpaste and brush, shampoo, body wash, deodorant and maybe a pair of socks. All the items are trial sized versions and packed into a gallon-sized freezer locking style bag.

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Sandwiches and Lunches

You can also make sandwiches and/or lunches.

Be sure to: Sanitize the surface you’ll be packing on, people to wash hands (20 secs) and wear gloves (if available) and also wear masks covering nose and mouth.

We prefer somewhat non-perishable (PB and J is best and popular!). One bread bag loaf makes 10 sandwiches (discard the two ends), pack each sandwich in a sandwich bag then repack all 10 sandwiches into the original bread bag.

An additional measure is to make a simple lunch. One sandwich, bag of chips, non perishable bar (like granola) and a small water bottle.

Either of these options are appreciated and help those in need of a simple meal.

What to do now?

You can do an event like this with a few (emphasis “few”) friends or your immediate family. Its a great activity to get your school-aged children involved in. Yes, there’s a little cost. The sandwich option is probably the least expensive and the large hygiene kits the most.

For distribution, if you’re comfortable you can hand out yourself to those on many of the street corners in the Twin Cities. But I realize that for many this is a unfamiliar setting.

I spend many mornings and some evenings every week leading a ministry serving breakfast at a downtown Minneapolis shelter as well as doing shelter visits. I’ve been doing this for the past 13 years, and I have been given a heart for broken and struggling people.

I am happy to connect with you to:

  • Take delivery of whatever outcome of your packing event(s)
  • Pick up whatever you pack (somewhat determinate on your location – I’m in the NW Suburbs)
  • You can join me in serving breakfast one morning (we practice social distancing and proper hygiene, so it is about as safe as grocery shopping – as one of our volunteers put it)

You can reach me through my website at www.richardbahr.com or email me at FollowerofJC@comcast.net

Blessings to you and yours as we endure this challenge together,

Richard Bahr