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Lantern Light Ministry Partnership

First Tuesday of the month, 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Location: St. Joseph's Rebuild Center, 1802 Tulane Ave., New Orleans, LA, New Orleans, LA US 70112

Coordinator: Betsy Stoner

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Lantern Light Ministries is part of the Rebuild Center at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church, 1802 Tulane Ave. downtown. Established by The Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Lantern Light provides a number of services to the homeless of New Orleans including a feeding program.

On the first Tuesday of each month the people of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church help Lantern Light by preparing and serving meals for 150 homeless men, women, and children who come to the Center for assistance. You can volunteer to help out in several ways, and you will make a big difference in a person’s life by your work.

Preparing the Meals

You can choose to make sandwiches, to bake cookies, or to donate drinks, chips, or lunch sacks. These items must be dropped off to St. Paul’s at our receptionist Mrs. Micki Robard’s desk at the Canal Street entrance under the green awning on the first Tuesday of the month no later than 11:00 am.

Making Sandwiches

o   Students of St. Paul’s School alternate months with volunteers at St. Paul’s Homecoming Center to provide 50 of the 150 sandwiches that we need. The women of the Episcopal Church Women (ECW) provide 75 sandwiches. We need at least one other person to make 25 sandwiches each month. It’s okay if more than one person does this—the sisters at Lantern Light refrigerate any extra sandwiches and use them later in the week.

o   Here’s what you need to make the 25 sandwiches:

  • Three loaves of sliced sandwich bread, any type (white or wheat)
  • Cold-cut deli-style meats, usually 2-3 lbs. (rumor has it the guests really enjoy salami, but any type is fine—anything from bologna to brisket, it’s your choice)
  • Sliced cheese, any type
  • Sandwich bags—oversized bags work best because of the extra slice of bread. Some choose to write simple messages of inspiration on the bags with a Sharpie. Something like, “God loves you!”

o   Assembling the sandwiches:

  • Bread
  • Meat
  • Bread
  • Cheese
  • Bread (the third slice helps to add calories and bulk)
  • NO condiments—the guests will be given their choice at the Center

 Baking Chocolate Chip Cookies

o   We need several volunteers to bake cookies each time to help us get to the 300 that we need. Every couple of dozen that people contribute really help out.

o   We provide only chocolate chip cookies to avoid allergies to nuts, etc. that the guests might have, and for uniformity.

o   The cookies must be “homemade.” You can use any kind of store-bought cookie dough available in the refrigerated section, or you can make cookies from scratch—it’s up to you. Either way we ask that these be cookies you bake, not a package of Chips Ahoy. The guests can tell the difference, and it makes a difference to them that you took the time to bake them yourself.

o   Prep for delivery by placing two cookies to a snack-sized baggie.

  • Donating Items:

o   Chips

  • Individual, single-serving sized bags, any type
  • 150 bags total needed—any number that you can bring is great

o   Drinks

  • Juice boxes, Capri Suns, etc.
  • Bottled water
  • NO soft drinks
  • 150 drinks total needed—any number that you can bring is great

o   Lunch Sacks

  • Bags should be folded into small squares, and rubber-banded into groups of 25
  • 150 plastic grocery bags needed—any number in groups of 25 that you can bring is great

Serving the Meals

We need two volunteers each month to deliver, assemble, and distribute the meals to the Center’s guests. This will only take about two hours of your time on that Tuesday. Everyone who participates comes away from the experience changed for the better. If you are interested in volunteering for the next opportunity please contact Betsy Stoner ahead of time at (504) 908-0242, or email Here is a rough sketch of what is expected of servers:

  • One or both volunteers load your car with all the donated items by 11:30 am.
  • Arrive at the Center (1802 Tulane Ave.) at about 11:45 am. The sisters and other volunteers will help you unload and give you further instructions.
  • At 12:00 pm you will help to assemble the lunch sacks while guests begin lining up.
  • At about 12:50 pm you will help distribute the bags.
  • You will be done by 1:30 pm.

Betsy Stoner can also answer any other general questions you might have about this ministry. Thanks for helping, and for living into our mission by “Growing in Service.”