Recipes for Feeding People at a Homeless Shelter?

I need ideas for cheap meals that are tasty to feed the homeless. I am feeding 35 people, mostly men at a shelter that our church works with presently. I need ideas for cheap entrees and desserts. Thank you so much.


By Dottie from Orlando, FL

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 186 Feedbacks
November 7, 20101 found this helpful
Best Answer

Goulash, stew (using hamburger instead of stew meat), sloppy joes and potato salad. Casserole dishes can be made using considerably less meat than called for. For dessert cake will do the job. If a group like Ladies Aid or Circle is doing this the group could decide on one type of casserole and dessert, and every member could be assigned to bring either the casserole or dessert, and there should probably be some type of bread and margarine.


One member could bring those items.

January 6, 20190 found this helpful


July 4, 20220 found this helpful

Chief salad is a big hit for us in the summer time as they get lots of pasta meat etc .The always say they love the fresh veggies which they often do not get!

November 12, 20106 found this helpful
Best Answer

My late mother once worked at a conference centre that was situated in the country. Very simple fare and inexpensive foods. The kitchen typed out and copied some of the recipes they would make so I've got a bunch of them. I'll type one out for you and then give you a list of the others. If you are interested in the names of some of the recipes let me know and I'll type them out for you too.


Meat and Noodle Casserole
Serves 56

8 pounds ground beef
3 large green peppers, diced
4 large ribs celery, diced
3 medium onions, chopped
4 packages medium noodles
8 cans (10 ounces each) tomato soup
4 cans (10 ounces each) cream of chicken soup
4 cans (10 ounces each) cream of mushroom soup

Brown meat, add pepper, celery and onion. Cook noodles, drain and add to meat mixture along with soups. Pout in casseroles and bake 30 minutes in medium oven.

Other recipes include:
Meat Loaf (serves 50)
Ham Casserole (serves 50)
Chili Con Carne (serves 50)
Tuna Casserole (served 55)
Salmon Loaf with Sauce (serves 48)
Home Baked Beans (serves 20)
Angel Food Cake Surprise (serves 48)
Cherry Delight (serves 48)
Chocolate Dessert (serves 20-24)
Jello Supreme (serves 45)
Pineapple Coleslaw (serves 48)


Jellied Salad (serves 48)

January 25, 20160 found this helpful

Hi, I am working on meals for a shelter that feeds 200. I would love your recipes for the Meatloaf, Chili, Baked Beans, and Pineapple Coleslaw. thanks so much!
Mary Alice

June 3, 20162 found this helpful
Best Answer

Here is a recipe called picante chicken. It has two ingredients: boneless skinless chicken breasts and picante sauce. The breasts are simmered on top of the stove for about 25 minutes in the picante sauce. Use about 1/3 C of picante per breast. This works best if the chicken is room temperature before dropping into the picante.


I did this for 40 guys at our local shelter and it was easy and they liked it. I served with Spanish rice, so the extra picante was spooned over the rice on request.

September 15, 20160 found this helpful

Being a vegetarian in charge of one meal a week for about 25=30, I have no idea how much chicken breasts we need. Can anyone help me? Number or pound weight? thank you.

February 1, 20180 found this helpful

where are the other recipes you have listed?


Silver Post Medal for All Time! 267 Posts
February 2, 20180 found this helpful

She posted this comment in 2010 so it is possible that she won't see your message. Many people drop off the site over many years so it is possible that you won't receive a response from Sooz.


Good luck with your event and please let us know what recipes you wind up using. It will help future readers looking for the same type of information.

February 16, 20190 found this helpful

I would love the recipe for the ham casserole and meatloaf

October 11, 20190 found this helpful

Could you please send me the below recipes? We are making Meatloaf for 150 with all the accompaniments. Thank you!

March 16, 20200 found this helpful

Please send your recipes! With the Virus going around I have tons of cancelations but still have to feed 100 daily for a week

January 5, 20230 found this helpful

I came across this posting and would be interested in seeing the recipes for the baked beans, meatloaf and tuna casserole! I am putting together a cookbook for our church to help feed 100 homeless on a weekly basis.

June 3, 20162 found this helpful
Best Answer

I have served as lead cook at the local homeless shelter for men. We usually serve about 40 guys. Here are two doable dessert recipes that were a big hit. You don't have to be a cook to make them and they are great comfort food.

Peach cobbler - make this in a couple of big hotel pans. Ingredients below serve 40.
6 sticks butter, melt 3 sticks in each of 2 pans
Make batter as follows.
6 C flour
2 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. baking powder
6 C whole milk
5 C sugar mixed with 2 tsp. cinnamon
Mix batter until smooth and pour directly over the butter, dividing batter between 2 pans.
5 cans sliced peaches (29 oz.) in heavy syrup, do not drain.
Pour peaches directly over the batter, dividing between the 2 pans.
Sprinkle 1 C sugar over top, dividing between the 2 pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 60 minutes. Baking time will vary depending upon the width and depth of your pans.
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Crescent roll apple dumplings. Will serve 40. As with the peach cobble, no cooking expertise is required.
5 large granny smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into eighths.
5 packages refrigerated crescent roll dough
Wrap each of the 40 apple wedges in each of the 40 crescent triangles, pressing to seal. Place in hotel pans in single layer.
Make sauce as follows:
In saucepan mix
4 C sugar
2 1/2 C butter ( 5 sticks)
2 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Pour sauce over dumplings.
48 to 60 oz. mountain dew.
Pour mountain dew over top.
Oven 350 degrees. Bake 45 minutes. Magic happens while they bake. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.


Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 109 Feedbacks
November 7, 20100 found this helpful

Look below the feedback box on this page at the archives, there are about 50 suggestions there.


Silver Post Medal for All Time! 288 Posts
November 9, 20101 found this helpful

Jessie Cates Meat Loaf

20 pounds ground extra lean meat
10 eggs
1 cup milk
4 oz. ketchup
12 oz. I.Q.F. onions
4 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons black pepper
1 tablespoon nutmeg
2 oz. mustard
2 cups bread crumbs

(By adding a green bell pepper or two, chopped fine and a grated carrot you could stretch the amount of patties you'd get.)

(there are no baking instructions) I think I remember them served in oblong individual loaf pans though.

How about making this up as patties and freezing them?

You could also use the meat as a base for Shepherd's Pie in large pans. Bake at 350º for 30-40 minutes. Take it out of the oven and add green beans or mixed veggies and cover with mashed potatoes and grated cheese, return to oven and bake until cheese is bubbly and slightly browned.

January 31, 20140 found this helpful

I am so happy i found this question. My favorite dessert of all time is a poor man's dessert. its called Zeppole, you take dough cut small pieces and roll them as think as you can and fry them in oil, then put powdered sugar on them as they come out. it is my favorite thing ever to eat, I'm always saving room for the next time we have em. you can experiment too, put brown sugar inside them after you bite them open, or put whipped cream on them. Sorry its so late, hope you do it for them, it always makes me happy, it will make them happy too!

April 12, 20151 found this helpful

A friend and I manage a ministry at our church called Share A Meal. We generally feed approx 100 homeless souls at a local shelter once a month. I find this recipe to be inexpensive and very filling- and they loved it at the shelter. For 35 folks this should work.

Hot dogs cut in bite size pieces at least one or two per person.
1 #10 size can of hot dog chili sauce- available at restaurant supply stores.
1 or 2 28 oz can of diced tomatoes- any flavor
garlic powder
black pepper
zesty seasoning salt or any seasoning you like
hamburger buns
onion diced

mix the chili sauce, hot dogs, onion(you can saute first if you like), tomatoes and seasonings in a large pot. Heat to temp.
Serve over hamburger buns open face or sloppy joe style.

We served this with cole slaw. A volunteer made bean soups and we had some cakes left from another event that we served for dessert. Good luck and God bless your efforts.

July 27, 20170 found this helpful

For deserts check out cake mix cookies or cookie bars. There are so many different things you can do with a box of cake mix! Also dump cakes. Cake mix and pie filling, both of which you can get at the dollar store.


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