When Dustin Smiley was deployed overseas for a year, his wife and their three boys weren't looking forward to seeing his empty place at dinner, and they came up with the idea of inviting someone to join them for dinner every Monday. A fascinating variety of guests--over 200--came for casual meals--nothing fancy--paper towels for napkins, bagged salads, lasagna, etc.
Check out the article by Sarah Smiley in the Sunday, May 12, issue of Parade and find out how they got started 'cause it can be intimidating to invite people whom you don't even know. I enjoyed this article because that's the kind of unprentious meals we have at our house, and it's something any of us can do. And she's written a book, Dinner with the Smileys, which gives more background. I think it'll motivate people to do something similar and reach out to people who would appreciate it more than we can imagine.