Members of the Sri Sathya Sai Center of Greater St. Louis, MO have been serving the residents at the St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church night shelter since 1985. Currently, volunteers serve dinner to about 60 residents on the second Saturday during six months of the year, from November through April.

Volunteers usually assemble as a team at the shelter between 5:30 and 6 PM. A staple fare of pizza and drinks, fruit, snacks and dessert is usually served. Every now and then, residents are also treated to a meal of delicious home-cooked pasta made by the volunteers. Residents often enjoy seconds and there is usually enough left-overs for those who may walk in late or for a meal the following day.






Because of COVID-19 restrictions,  Sai volunteers could not serve the residents in-person for two years but continued to drop off food at the shelter. Since November 2022, volunteers have been very happy to resume serving the residents in-person, a task that feels immensely more gratifying. Volunteers also donate clothes, blankets, shoes and household items to the residents when needed. During the pandemic, they also designed and tailored masks at home and delivered them to the residents, meeting a critical need since there was a shortage of masks.

A volunteer reflected how transformative an experience it has been to participate in the meal service. When he realized that what they served at dinner would often be the first meal of the day for many residents, it made him feel humbled and grateful when facing the comparatively insignificant challenges in his own life.

Another volunteer stated how amazing it has been to learn that serving food with love and compassion can make a difference in the residents’ enjoyment of their meals, and the staff’s appreciation of their monthly meal service. He added, “we are now delighted that starting May 2023, we will expand our monthly dinner service to our friends at the shelter for all twelve months of the year!”