Providing a meal is a wonderful way to provide a tangible sign of comfort and care for families while they care for their seriously ill child.
Cooking can be especially rewarding as families often find themselves living on hospital food or from vending machines much of the time. Groups can prepare dinner or weekend brunches for the families at the House.
What, When, and How Many…
|Meal||# of Cooks||Arrival Time||Serving Time||Departure||# to Feed
|Dinner||Up to 8||As necessary||5:30 pm||By 7:30||Subject to change based on total family headcount|
What You Need To Know
- Purchase food for 25-30 people for dinner.
- Serving time for the dinner meal is 5:30 P.M.
- Team members should be familiar with the contents of the Meal Program Handbook.
- Group leader will complete our Meal Safety Kitchen Training. Meal team leaders are expected to attend a brief orientation prior to first meal prep.
- Maximum group size is 4 fully vaccinated people.
- No team member should participate if they have any illness or symptom of illness, no matter how minor.
- Children 13 years and older may participate but should be supervised by an adult.
- You may photograph your group, but please do not include our guests in the photos.
- Although you many not see many of our guests while you are here (most spend as much time as possible at the hospital with their child), please know that leftover food IS consumed.
- Clean up and packing up of leftovers is a required part of meal preparation.
- Cancellation Policy: in order to meet the needs of our families, we require at least 48 hours notice for cancellation. Our families are counting on you, so if you have to cancel we ask that you make arrangements to provide a meal by bringing pre-prepared food or making other arrangements.
All meal group members are required to sign in. The first member to arrive or the team leader will pick up a sign-in sheet and in-kind donation form at the front desk. All group members will be asked to provide proof of vaccination. Meal team members can park in the main parking lot.
If you need to unload supplies from your vehicle, it is more convenient to park in the back parking lot near the garages.
We will be happy to help your group come up with some menu ideas. We welcome meal creativity. Our only request is for your planned meal to be a complete meal. For planning purposes, please let us know the week prior to your meal date what your group has chosen to cook.
Example of complete meal: roasted chicken, rice pilaf, sliced tomato salad, and green beans
We have two stoves/ovens, two dishwashers, two sinks, plenty of counter space, and an ample selection of pots, pans, and cooking utensils.
Our families come from a variety of backgrounds. The one thing that all of our families have in common is that they have a child being treated at the hospital. Many of our families are under a lot of stress and appreciate coming back to the House after an exhausting day at the hospital to a relaxed, home-cooked meal. While many of our families may not make it back in time for the meal, we save leftovers in our House refrigerator for families to enjoy later when they return to the House.
For more information about Meal Teams, please contact Cathy Hall, Director of Volunteer Services, at email@example.com
Want To Request a Date?
Meal Teams Calendars
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. You will plan, shop for and prepare the food for the meal you are serving.
Considering the kitchen space, a team of 6-8 is ideal but teams are allowed up to 10 people. Children 13 and older may participate, but must be supervised by an adult. Children count toward the 10 person maximum.
Because of space constraints we cannot accommodate more than 10 people in a meal group. Please limit your group sign up to 10. If you have more people who want to participate you may book an additional date. We always need meal groups.
If you are cooking dinner, please plan to prepare food for 45-50 people. If you are cooking brunch, please plan to prepare food for 35-40 people. For either meal, please contact Cathy a few days in advance to verify the occupancy rate.
Each kitchen has two stoves/ovens, two dishwashers, two sinks, plenty of counter space, and an ample selection of pots, pans and cooking utensils. Some meal groups find it helpful to bring disposable pans, but it is not necessary. Food is served buffet style and we have plates, glasses and silverware, although you may bring disposable items if you wish.
There is no need to do so, but we do ask that you know the ingredients in the food you prepare.
You are welcome to dine with our families. If you do, please adjust the food supply accordingly and be mindful not to crowd our families. Some families enjoy interacting with volunteers while others enjoy eating quietly on their own.
You are not required to bring beverages or desserts, but many groups choose to do so. Drinks such as iced tea, lemonade and sodas are much appreciated by guests and desserts are always a treat!
All food should be safely sealed in plastic containers or Ziploc bags (provided by the House), labeled and stored for families to eat later. Many families do not make it to the House for meals and make use of the stored food at a later time.
Leftover food can be left in the Community Fridge in the Hearth Kitchen, space permitting, and in the refrigerator in the Main Kitchen.