The Brown Bag Lunch program started in 2001. On Mondays and Thursdays, volunteers gather at St. Leo Catholic Church to prepare and assemble lunches that include a warm burrito, fruit and dessert. The lunches are distributed at various locations throughout Sonoma Valley, including our homeless shelter, The Haven. Ingredients are purchased or donated by local businesses or generous donors.
SERVING THE SONOMA VALLEY SINCE 2001
The Brown Baggers
Brown Bag Lunch
The Brown Bag Cafe is a relatively new program. It opened in January of 2009 at La Luz Center in the Boyes Hot Springs area. Since then, the Friday hot meal has grown steadily. Most of the time it is a delicious homemade soup.
In 2012, the Brown Bag Cafe expanded to Wednesday afternoons at the Grange Hall in Sonoma. What is unique about this Cafe is that each Wednesday is staffed by a different faith community: Faith Lutheran, Shir Shalom, St. Andrew Presbyterian, and St. Leo Catholic Church take turns planning and preparing the food. They also set up, serve the guests and then clean up. On the fifth Wednesday of the month, the board of directors of Sonoma Overnight Support take their turn.
Brown Bag Cafe
Sonoma, Grange Hall
1:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Boyes Hot Springs – La Luz
4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
The Back Story
The birth of the Brown Baggers' Program is linked to the wine industry and the seasonal workers who
come to the Valley but often have no place to stay and limited access to food.
As the saying goes,"never doubt a small group of committed citizens" (Margaret Mead. It was a collaboration of Valley citizens, grape growers, and churches determined to address this growing need that led to the first migrant camp at Faith Lutheran Church.
Volunteers, eventually calling themselves
the Brown Baggers, provided the food.
But after the grape harvest, they realized there were still people on the street who could use a bag lunch and a warm meal. For the past 14 years they have continued to serve this population. In 2005, Brown Baggers came under the umbrella of Sonoma Overnight Support Inc.