For the women at On The Rise, a healthy and hearty meal enjoyed in a safe home is invaluable. We rely on the kind hearts and culinary talents of volunteers to cook a meal in their kitchen and deliver to ours.

This volunteer opportunity is available 6 days per week and fills one of our greatest needs by being able to offer a healthy and hearty meal to a woman who otherwise would not have many options.

Don't shy away from this opportunity even if you don’t consider yourself a cook; store bought and pre-made items are also welcome.  As the women are as diverse as their palates, you choose what you would like to make; it is sure to be appreciated and enjoyed! To respect the privacy of our women, volunteers do not serve lunch at On The Rise. We set up family-style lunch in our comfy kitchen and women help themselves.

Volunteer Lunch Guidelines:

  • First and foremost, kindly ensure your meal prep space is sanitized and that your hands are washed prior to and throughout your cooking experience. Please tie back any loose hair and survey your work space to prevent anything unforeseen from falling into the food
  • To schedule a delivery date in advance, visit our page on Meal Train. On The Rise will receive an alert that you're delivering lunch
  • Entrée should serve 15 adults, sides and dessert are optional
  • Fresh fruit is encouraged with lunch donations
  • Label ingredients so women can make a healthy choice for themselves
  • Prepare items in disposable containers or label your dishes (label both lids and bases) with your name; we will clean them and have them ready for pick-up
  • Refrain from cooking with alcohol
  • Provide instructions if we need to reheat lunch; kindly do not deliver raw or uncooked items, simply check the meat to ensure it's cooked through
  • Drop-off is between 8am – 11am to 341 Broadway, Cambridge, MA. If you need to deliver the day prior, please call to make an appointment. In case of inclement weather, please call On The Rise to ensure we're open
  • In a hurry? Call ahead and we’ll meet you curbside to accept your lunch!

Need inspiration? Our women share what food they miss while being homeless:

  • "Healthy options, like salads with meats and veggie toppings so I can make a choice.”
  • "I miss the parties my father held during sports games - I like tailgating foods.”
  • "I'm vegetarian, I didn’t eat meat growing up and it's hard to find vegetarian meals at shelters.”
  • "I miss the BBQ’s we had in our yard, I like BBQ all year round!”
  • "I love Seafood! It keeps me healthy which is a hard thing to do when you are homeless.”
  • "I enjoy international flavors, like Chinese, Indian and Mexican. I love to try new foods!”
  • "I like creating a wrap or sandwich that I can fill with meats, veggies and sauces of my choice.”

Click here to view our recipe box. These are menus shared by our lunch volunteers.

Any questions, contact Keyton Sheely, Development Coordinator at or 617-497-7968 x36.