Dinner at the Armory

Helping othersDuring the winter months, we provide dinner to about 120-140 folks at the Gilroy Armory. The Youth are coordinating dinner the 3rd Sunday of each month, and the congregation provides dinner on the 1st and 5th Sundays. The Armory is a cold-weather shelter operated by HomeFirst.

Help needed! For the 2017-2018 winter, Santa Clara County approved to extend operations of the Shelter Program an additional four weeks, to November 15 through April 14. This is a full extra month of overnight refuge, showers, and meals for those in our community in need. To be able to arrange these extra meals, we need a third team coordinator. The team coordinator plans and organizes the meal, asks for donations, and coordinates volunteers to serve the meal. We have several popular meal plans to choose from, or new ones can be developed. If you are willing to lead one meal a month, please contact Denise or Jeannie.

Other Items Needed include toiletries, adult-sized (new) white cotton socks, and small sewing kits.

Typical Menu

  • 12-14 Chicken Pot Pies or Pasta Bakes (see Recipes, below) or 5 pots of chili or beef stew
  • 5 gallons of milk
  • 5 gallons of juice
  • 8 bags of green salad and 4 bottles of dressing
  • 4 desserts (cookies or cupcakes)
  • soft fruit (18 bananas, 2 dozen oranges, 3-4 pounds of grapes)
  • 4 large cans of fruit cocktail
  • 3 bags of rolls plus tub of margarine (for pot pies or pasta bakes) or 60 baked potatoes (for chili/stew)


Easy Chicken Pot Pie

3 cans Cream of Chicken soup
3 cups chopped cooked chicken or turkey
3 1-lb bags frozen mixed vegetables
4 cups Bisquick
1.5 cups milk
3 eggs

Preheat oven to 400°F. In 9″x13″ foil casserole pan, combine soup, meat, and veggies together. Stir together remaining ingredients and pour over vegetable/meat mixture. Put full casserole pan on cookie sheet (to give it support) and bake 30-40 minutes.

John’s Easy Chicken Stew

From John: Jeannie Clayton suggested that I send out my recipe for a cheap and bountiful dish I often prepare when we are faced with feeding the homeless at the shelter in Gilroy. If, like me, you find money tight right now, here is a convenient way to provide a delicious, filling and ample dish to be served. It is basically ‘chicken noodle soup on steroids’ which I have nicknamed ‘glop.’ It is easy and inexpensive to make, and Jeannie tells me that the folks enjoy it.

Large can Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup
1 Soup-can of water
12 oz. package of dry noodles
1 or 2 small cans chunk chicken

In a large soup pot, combine the can of soup and the can of water. Empty the package of noodles into the pot. Add the one or two cans of chunk chicken into the pot, juice and all. Heat the whole thing on the stove until the noodles absorb the soup and are soft. Stir the mixture a lot, while heating.

Once it is done, let it cool for a bit, then serve. If making for a later meal, ladle it into large, disposable plastic containers, which can then be stored in the freezer until needed.

Pasta Bake

2 lb. hamburger or Italian-style sausage
1 large onion, diced
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 jar red pasta sauce
1 13-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 8-oz. or 13-oz. can tomato sauce (if needed)
2.5 cups dry pasta
1/2 lb. mozzarella, cubed (optional)
1/2 lb. mozzarella, shredded

Preheat oven to 350°F. In large pan with stove set to medium high or high, brown hamburger or sausage. Add onion and celery, and saute until transparent. Drain fat from the pan.

While meat and vegetables are cooking, cook pasta (probably in 3-quart pan) according to package directions. Add pasta sauce and diced tomatoes to meat/vegetables, stir, then add cooked and drained pasta and cubed mozzarella (if using). If mixture seems a little dry, add tomato sauce.

Pour mixture into 9″x13″ foil casserole pan. Top with shredded mozzarella. Put full casserole pan on cookie sheet (to give it support) and bake 40-45 minutes.

Alternative: Heat purchased frozen lasagna (in 9″x13″ pan) according to package directions.