What is The Community Meal?

It's more than a meal...it's belonging.

When was The Community Meal founded?


Mary Sandner’s journey to founding The Community Meal began when she was a student at Barrington High School. Throughout her high school career, Mary worked at the Barrington Jewel-Osco. It was there that she developed close friendships with her co-workers and had meaningful conversations with customers, about their successes and their struggles. Mary began to realize she had neighbors, friends, and families in need – right here in Barrington. She desired to bring the residents of Barrington together to not only share a meal, but also share real experiences, real conversations, and real problems. After college, Mary became a council board chair at Lutheran Church of the Atonement. Mary attended a council retreat and a “community meal” idea came to light. With the support of BAMA and Lutheran Church of the Atonement, The Community Meal was born. 

What is The Community Meal's mission?

"Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality."

- Romans 12:13

Our mission is to show Christian hospitality by providing a welcoming place, nourishing food, a listening ear, and acceptance to all regardless of faith beliefs or economic means.  The simple act of sharing a meal together gives hope to the elderly, lonely and hungry.  We strengthen friendships and inspire a community that will be inclusive and loving towards one another.

What is The Community Meal's vision?

The Community Meal is a living statement of who we are in Christ, how we treat one another, and how we serve one another. The Community Meal was founded on the values of love, compassion, commitment and grace. We want to build enduring relationships with our neighbors in the communities we serve and beyond.

Come and join us not only for a meal, but also for a taste of community. We have an open and inviting space where everyone is welcome. We will have great food, and a great time getting to know each other. Life is built on relationships. The time to start building them is now!

Check out our 10 year anniversary video to learn more about us!

Is The Community Meal a non-profit organization?

In September 2011, The Community Meal became a 501 (c) (3) organization under the Internal Revenue Service.

What services does The Community Meal offer?

In addition to a free meal, The Community Meal also offers services and activities to enrich guests' experiences at The Community Meal. The Community Meal has offered the following FREE programs:

  • Cooking demonstrations

  • Flower arrangement demonstrations

  • Free vegetables from local community gardens

  • Holiday-themed celebrations

  • Live entertainment including piano performances

  • Local authors and speakers

  • Money management classes

  • Therapy dogs

  • Wildlife presentations

  • And more

Who are The Community Meal team members?

  • Mary Sandner, Founder

  • Sandy Hasse, Coordinator

  • Horner Chen

  • Kathy Crissie

  • Nancy Davis

  • Bob Hasse

  • Anny Jamieson

  • Carol Klewitz

  • Nancy Langlois

  • Debbie Partridge

  • Luann Pomeraning

  • Charlotte Stanton

  • Barb Wagner

Where can I find pictures of past events?

View The Community Meal's Facebook page.

Who can I contact with questions?

Questions Regarding:

General Questions



Mary Sandner, Founder



Website Issues

Social Media Issues

Anny Jamieson