Erin Dinan

Daily Point of Light # 5276 Aug 5, 2014

Erin Dinan, a photographer and humanitarian, wanted to create change in her community, but was unsure how much change she could make on her own.

One day, hungry and rushing to make her train at Grand Central Station, Erin stopped to grab a sandwich. As she headed to the platform, a homeless man approached her asking for money to buy food. Without thinking, she handed the man half of her meal. Shocked and grateful, he accepted it.

Later, as she sat next to her fellow commuters, she could not get the interaction out of her mind. How hungry must he have been? When would his next meal be? She realized that creating change could be as simple as that — helping someone get their next meal. That was something that Erin, with just her two hands, could do.

She soon teamed up with friends George Kontogiannis and Katherine Mackanin in 2011 to create a charity, One Sandwich At A Time, with a simple and powerful mission: that change is possible. What began as a personal project of Erin’s, on a mission to raise awareness about homelessness on the streets of New York, has now blossomed into an altruistic, community-based organization that has fed more than 30,000 homeless and hungry individuals in the city.

One Sandwich At A Time brings Erin’s community together to feed the growing homeless and underfed population in America – one sandwich at a time. With the help of volunteers, the organization puts together peanut butter & jelly and ham & cheese sandwiches at monthly sandwich making events, bagging them up and delivering them to areas in need, including food pantries, homeless shelters and food distribution centers serving victims of natural disasters, like Hurricane Sandy.

Erin has inspired others to volunteer and has taught them how big things can happen when a community joins together. With a goal towards feeding more than 100,000 homeless and hungry in New York City, Erin and One Sandwich At A Time are determined to spark a movement across the United States and help homeless men, women and children get their next meal.

You can find more information on Erin’s website and get involved with the sandwich making project at http://www.onesandwichatatime.org/#twohands

Know someone who is doing amazing work like Erin to prevent hunger? Nominate them today for the Daily Point of Light Award at http://www.pointsoflight.org/programs/recognition/dpol/nomination .

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