Volunteer to make a difference in a child’s life

Lunch Pals is a lunchtime mentoring program where businesses, community organizations and individuals are paired with a nearby school to provide students with the additional presence of caring adults.

Each student is identified by school personnel as a child who could especially benefit from a supporting relationship. Sometimes students are facing social, family and/or academic challenges, or are just at a point in their lives where they will especially benefit from an additional positive and encouraging adult who spends time with them.

Currently more than 1,000 individuals and 65 organizations in the Tampa Bay area are part of the Lunch Pals program. The first step to becoming a Lunch Pal is to attend a Mentor Workshop hosted by Pinellas County Schools.

Attend a workshop to become a lunch pal
View Our Partners  
Learn how your company/organization can get involved in Lunch Pals

“All children need caring adults to reach their full potential.

Lunch Pals is the opportunity to provide that relationship for the children who need us most. It is an investment that will pay dividends for generations.

– Ron Diner, Director of Strategic Community Partnerships, Raymond James

How does Lunch Pals work?

Lunch Pals is a partnership between Pinellas County Schools and Raymond James that is supported by more than 65 business and community organization partners. Individuals are matched to an identified nearby school, and volunteers spend 30 minutes a week with a student during his or her lunch period on a designated day during the school year. By simply having a positive, consistent figure to read with, to talk with or to confide in, students become more engaged and more motivated in school.

To learn more about our impact in the Tampa Bay / St. Petersburg community, view our 2018-2019 program report.

2018-2019 Program Report

Get involved

If you’re an individual looking for a unique volunteer opportunity, please click the link below to attend a Pinellas County Schools mentor workshop and get started.

Attend a workshop to become a lunch pal

Or, if you would like to offer your employees or members the chance to get engaged in a meaningful volunteer opportunity, please consider partnering with Lunch Pals. We’ll provide the tools, resources and platform to help promote this program to your organization and prepare your employees with complimentary on-site training. Please contact us to learn more about getting your organization involved.




Let’s Connect

Would you like more information or would you like to join Lunch Pals?

Would your company/community organization be interested in joining Lunch Pals?

Please SUBMIT your contact information and we will connect with you.

Raymond James hosted an end-of-year celebration for mentors and mentees.
Click above to watch the brief video.

For more videos about Lunch Pals, please visit the
Pinellas County Schools YouTube Lunch Pals Playlist.

Summits for Leadership Development

Lunch Pals participants have the opportunity to attend summits designed to leverage the Lunch Pals experience for personal and professional development and enhance mentoring skills.

At each summit, Lunch Pals will:

  1. Hear from top leaders in the Tampa Bay area about the keys to their professional development.
  2. Receive guidance on improving mentoring skills from the Leadership Development Institute at Eckerd College.
  3. Have networking opportunities.

Mentor Resources

For more information, including newsletters and other mentor resources, please visit the Pinellas County Schools resources page.

In the News

February 21, 2019 | The Weekly Challenger

Lunch Pals program targeting black mentors

January 11, 2019 | Green Bench Monthly

Meet Lunch Pals

April 5, 2017 | Tampa Bay Times

School mentoring program with Raymond James grows into the hundreds

February 25, 2016 | Tampa Bay Times

'Lunch pals' program seeks mentors from local businesses to help in 29 Pinellas schools