By Starla Pointer • Staff Writer • 

Sunday Sandwiches

Kirby Neumann-Rea/News-Register
##A line of volunteers fills food, grocery and coffee orders for guests at Sunday Sandwiches
on Oct. 2. From left are Tom Earle, Valeria Orosco, Pat Carlson and Lee McClure, all of
McMinnville. Not pictured: Beth Frischmuth of McMinnville.
Kirby Neumann-Rea/News-Register ##A line of volunteers fills food, grocery and coffee orders for guests at Sunday Sandwiches on Oct. 2. From left are Tom Earle, Valeria Orosco, Pat Carlson and Lee McClure, all of McMinnville. Not pictured: Beth Frischmuth of McMinnville.

By STARLA POINTER

Of the News-Register

In a way, Sunday Sandwiches is just what it sounds like: a program that hands out sandwiches on Sunday afternoons.

In a way, it’s more, organizers said. It’s a volunteer-run program that aims to provide food to anyone who needs it, both a sandwich for now and some groceries for later, when they might have a hard time filling their nutritional needs.

Sunday Sandwiches representative Jeri White said the McMinnville-based program started in early 2021 to bridge the gap when other food programs, such as the Soup Kitchen @ St. Barnabas, are closed.

When Encompass Yamhill Valley tarted the program, members of the Unitarian Universalist Church volunteered to serve food on Sundays at a central location — outside the McMinnville Public Library, they decided. They didn’t have a kitchen, so they chose to serve something that didn’t need heating — brown-bag lunches featuring a sub sandwich, fruit and a homemade cookie.

They’ve expanded over the months to offer additional food for people to take with them, White said. In addition to Encompass Yamhill Valley, the YCAP food bank and individual donors contribute to that effort, she said.

Many other people have been added to the list of volunteers and team leaders. White said volunteers come from all over the community, including from many churches.

“They all see the problem of unhoused people here and want to help give them what they need,” she said.

Sunday Sandwiches orders six dozen sub sandwiches from Winco each week. Volunteers bag them up with fruit and the cookies, which are made by a skilled baker who gives her time, White said.

Two to three dozen volunteers take turns handing out the bags at the library from 1 to 3 p.m. Sundays, or until the food runs out. No questions are asked; no paperwork needs to be filled out.

A donation from Flag & Wire coffee assures that recipients can have a hot beverage, as well.

Sometimes people take sandwiches for themselves and to give to others. Sometimes individuals drop by, and sometimes whole families.

Many don’t have homes. But some do — they have a place to live, White said, but are food insecure.

Lately, the bags of sandwiches have been running out. More newcomers are joining the regular recipients each week.

“There’s such a need out there,” White said. “It’s a wonderful program. We try not to turn away anyone.”

Donations of cash, produce or packaged food will help, she said. If not all the food is distributed on Sunday, she said, volunteers will take it to a local park or homeless shelter.

“We’ll see that it gets distributed,” she said. “It’s needed.”

Sunday Sandwiches serves from 1 to 3 p.m. each Sunday at the library, Second and Adams streets.

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