Simple Meals for Homeless Shelters and The Hungry

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Each night, over 500,000 people in our country fall asleep in a homeless shelter and too often go to bed hungry.  Making meals for homeless people is one simple way that you can do something good for a stranger and for yourself.

Someone pouring sauce atop noodles with vegetables

This Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken can be made for just a couple of dollars per serving and is one of many meals for homeless people that you can easily make and donate.

If you are reading this food blog then chances are very good that you have never gone to sleep at night wondering how you were going to feed yourself or your children the next day.

About this

Who among you has been known to over-do it a bit while cooking at home? All too often we end up tossing our leftovers into the kitchen trash a day or two later.

Sadly this happens in our own household all too often and in reality our family is not alone. Did you know that 40% of food in the U.S. is thrown out every year? That is enough to feed 25 million people.

A spoon lifting baked pasta with meat, red sauce and cheese fro dish
This Easy Lasagna Casserole from Spaceships and Laser Beams showcases nutrition, comfort and ease, making it one of many meals for homeless people that you can drop off at a homeless shelter near you;

It’s hard for many of us to wrap our heads around that thought.  It is just as hard for many of us to imagine what it’s like to be in this situation.  Too many of our neighbors go to sleep at night and wonder about where their next meal will be coming from or how they feed their kids the next day.

Feed a stranger and you both will  sleep better

I try to be thankful each day that this is something that I know nothing about. Unfortunately, there are many people in our country and in our hometowns and cities that are not so lucky.

Someone spooning out casserole of food on table, red pepper in background
 This Amish Hamburger Casserole from The Seasoned Mom is a dish that many of us grew up with on our family dinner table. It’s one of many meals for homeless people that will bring warmth and comfort to their body and soul.

Our abundance of food can make it easy to forget a lot of things. We forget those who are less fortunate and live with chronic food and shelter concerns.

Making a basic meal of warmth and comfort is easy to do. Importantly, it can help lift some of that burden from those folks and the shelters that help harbor them.

  Whether it’s a simple hearty soup, a warm casserole, or a sweet dessert, these people will not be picky.

Wooden spoon lifting out meatball covered in red sauce and melted cheese from dish
This Easy Meatball Casserole from It is A Keeper uses just a few ingredients and can be made in 30 minutes. It’s one of many meals for homeless shelters that you can donate.

Looking around on the web, we found several recipes that are simple and inexpensive to make. These meals for homeless shelters are a small investment that offer a big return.

Chicken pot pied behind individual serving of same, with fork on table
This Chicken Pot Pie Casserole from Julie’s Eats and Treats goes together in 30 quick minutes and should be on your list of meals for homeless people that you can make at home.

The simple act of providing a meal for the homeless will make both them and yourself feel a little bit better about the world in which we live.

Ariel view of cheesy casserole on table with fork
Sloppy Joe Biscuit Bake from My Suburban Kitchen is one of many fast and easy meals for homeless shelters that you can make. Who doesn’t love a good Sloppy Joe dinner?

There are nearly 4,000 homeless shelters in the United States as listed in the directory below. Chances are good that there is one close to your home and you don’t even know about it.

In these safe havens, untold thousands of people seek warmth, shelter and food. These are just three of a multitude of basic challenges that most of us reading this post know nothing about.  Imagine what it would be like to have an empty refrigerator and a table full of kids to feed.

Creamy pasta shells being lifted with fork from dish
Chicken & Shells is one of many simple meals for homeless people that you can donate to your local shelter. Use some leftover chicken, a box of pasta along with a few other ingredients and help feed a stranger.

Our culture of excess makes it easy forget those who have the exact opposite experience in their lives. Take a look at this map and find a shelter near you. Then, put together one of these meals for homeless people. You’ll be helping them and yourself, trust me on this one.

 A map of the U.S.
Find a local homeless shelter near you by clicking your state.
Casserole of chicken potpie with wooden spoon on table
Pin these recipes of meals for homeless shelters and for those who face hunger.

Meet the Platter Talk Guys

Dan & Scott split their time between Wisconsin and Southwest Florida and are dads to six boys. Good food runs through their veins, and they love showing others how to cook easy recipes.

Get new recipes sent to your inbox!
Don't miss out! Subscribe and get all the new recipes first.
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Thank you, Dan, for helping spread the awareness of so many in need! I might add to check with your shelter before dropping off food. We have an Open Door Mission that will not accept home cooked food but people can always help by donating ingredients, money or their time.

    1. Great caveats, Julie. It’s definitely always best to call ahead and find out what policies are in place. Thanks for bringing this up!

  2. I love this! One thing my folks instilled was giving back and it’s something we do regularly. Thank you for bringing this to the forefront! Your recipes are great to put together affordable, quick and easy meals that will be appreciated and enjoyed!!!

    1. Thanks for the kind comments, Debra. It’s always too easy to forget how much we have while so many have not.

  3. Hi Theres, Unfortunately, this was a Platter Talk story that was written for Mode Media, a organization that went bankrupt last year. The story is no longer accessible but we will try to recreate it to make it available to our readers here on our main site. Please stay tune!