Non-Perishable Food

“Your group has been such a blessing. The breakfasts were a life saver and the lunch/dinner combos were life savers. We always welcome the cup of noodles as those can be most helpful to get that “warm” food in their tummies. The fact that these meals are non perishable mean the WORLD to us!” – Project Manager at Supported Facility in Denver

Program Start (November 2011) To Date:
  96,202 Meals Distributed

Non-Perishable Food & Take-Away Meal Program

From November 1st 2011 to March 31 2012 Homeless Gear collected,
assembled, and distributed 5,000 breakfast sack meals for guests of the Fort Collins Emergency Overflow Shelter. The overflow shelter serves the homeless that cannot get into our two permanent shelters due to lack of bed space. Because of the overwhelming outpouring of support from the community for this project and the corresponding need for supplemental readily consumable food items and liquids by the homeless, our Non-Perishable Food Program was born!

We now collect Non-Perishable and Readily Consumable food/drink items year round for the homeless so that they can stay hydrated & supplement their calorie needs with the 1-2 hot meals that are typically available to some (but not all) each day. We distribute these items at The Murphy Center, during our monthly distribution events, through some of the 40+ homeless facilities we support throughout Colorado and during our Night Street Outreach Program (three nights a week).

You or your group, class, troop, church or business can help in one of 4 ways:

  1. Collect and provide component food or drink items (see list below).
  2. Provide cash or gift cards for us to purchase component food/ drink items.
  3. Provide completed ready to eat “take away meals” (see below for details).
  4. Deliver Take-Away Meals to facilities in Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley Longmont, Boulder, or Denver.

Food & Drink Items:

Components should be:

  1. Able to be easily opened without mechanical devise
  2. Able to be eaten straight away or by adding hot water
  3. Non-perishable or shelf life longer than six months
  4. Commercially produced and packaged
  5. In individual sized containers

Components: Use your imagination but here are some suggestions:

Items in Red are highest need:

  • Juice Boxes, Capri Suns, Bottled Water
  • Granola Bars
  • Raisins
  • Cookies
  • Breakfast Bars
  • Pop Tarts/li>
  • Fruit Rollups or Fruit Snacks
  • Peanut Butter or Cheese Crackers
  • Jerky
  • Trail Mix
  • Nuts
  • Fruit or Pudding Cups
  • Cup-A-Noodles
  • Instant Soups
  • Instant Mac & Cheese

Take-Away Meals:

You can either provide “breakfast” or “lunch/dinner” oriented Take-Away Meals.

Basic Items (All Meals)

  • Plastic Sack (paper sacks work OK but plastic grocery sacks are perfect! Tie the ends to keep items from falling out.
  • Napkin
  • Disposable Spoon
  • Juice Box, Water, or Capri Sun
  • 3 ready to eat items (see component list)

Plus: Breakfast Take-Away Meal:

  • Hot Chocolate Packet (just add water)
  • Instant Oatmeal Packet (just add water)
  • Disposable Bowl

Plus: Lunch/Dinner Take-Away Meal:

  • Cup-A-Noodles or Tuna/Crackers (ready to eat containers)

If you would like to participate in any way (individual or group), would like to set up delivery or have questions please contact Chelsey Mandell, our Volunteer Coordinator, by phone at (970) 587-3556 or by email at