Message From The Founder
I’m Jacqueline Norvell aka the Brown Bag Lady. This idea first came to me Christmas morning in 2012 when my son and I packed up my car and we went downtown and stood on a corner, and handed out turkey dinners. I only had about $200, which I used to make 70 meals. The images that I saw that morning were disturbing.
The following year, we did the same thing, but I asked for donations from co-workers and friends. Christmas 2013, we fed 130 people and also gave away gently used clothes and shoes that I had been collecting all year. Hence…Brown Bag Lady was born. And officially started in March 2014.
We work strictly from donations. Once-a-month everyone meets and we prepare nutritious meals which also includes a positive quote taped to every bag. If just one person gets a little inspiration from reading the quotes, then that’s good enough for me.
I started off making 100 lunches to distribute the first Sunday of each month. Because of the generosity of the community, we are now able to distribute over 200 lunches during the first Sunday outing and countless additional meals throughout the month. We’ve also been able to add hygiene kits, cat and dog food supplies and medication, gently worn clothes and shoes, tents, and sleeping bags. We’ve even helped a few people get off the street and secure permanent housing, which we also fully furnished.
I tell the people down on Skid Row every month that I will be back. Some of them have said to me that I’m going to flake or I won’t show up. I promised them “Come hell or high water, rain or shine, if no one else shows up, I will be here and you will have a meal!"
I’m proud to say that we haven’t missed a Sunday in SIX YEARS … not even during the PANDEMIC!