Sandwich Brigade making its last stand?

Photo of two employees

Winfred Sneed (left) and Bernard Sanders.

For the past 20 years, Winfred Sneed and a small army of compatriots have been helping to feed the homeless of Atlanta. Meeting every Thursday in the North Decatur Building at 8:30 AM, the group make over 400 sandwiches for a pair of homeless shelters in the area.

That’s over 400,000 sandwiches.

However, Winfred is retiring this month and, perhaps, so is the sandwich brigade. “I’m hoping someone will pick up the mantel,” winks Winfred.

The NDB sandwich brigade began one day when Winfred was driving past the Open Door Community Center and saw a line of homeless stretching out the door. He stopped, asked how he could help, and thus began a two-decade run of service. “We started with 30 sandwiches a week and it grew to 400,” said Winfred. It takes the team about 45 minutes to complete the job.

Volunteers from LITS and Healthcare IS have been helping Winfred for years. And they have fun doing it too. “We laugh and sometimes talk politics,” said Francine Montgomery of EHC-IS. “I think we have diagnosed nearly every political problem” while making sandwiches.

This week, Linda Richardson organized a going away luncheon for Winfred that was attended by many of the volunteers who have helped over the years. Over 40 people attended the event and Winfred thanked everyone. “I particularly want to thank LITS leadership for allowing us to do this for so long.”

Photo of sandwiches being made

Making 400 sandwiches in 45 minutes is a precision operation.

The next day, they were back to making the sandwiches.

Bernard Sanders, who has been Winfred’s right-hand man since the beginning, helps deliver the 400 sandwiches to the Open Door Community, which plans to close its doors soon. In fact, shelters in Atlanta are in trouble.

According to Winfred, “The people who began running all these shelters so many years ago have aged and not enough new folks are there to take over. Many shelters all over the area are closing.”

In the meantime, Winfred has contributed plenty to the effort. When asked what he will do in retirement, Winfred said, “I am the greatest fisherman on the planet. I am also going to help my wife Shirley run her tax business. And go bowling. And golf!”

Perhaps someone will keep the brigade alive. Or perhaps tomorrow’s Winfred Sneed will see a line of needy people and ask, “How can I help?”

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One Comment

  1. Bridgette Morris
    Posted May 21, 2017 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    I would like to find out more information about the sandwich brigade. Has William retired as of yet. Please provide any information or direct me to contacts who may be picking up Mr Sneed’s duty’s. We maybe interested in taking on his duties to keep this program going. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

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