Food and Meal info
The shelter provides guests with a hot meal each evening. All meals are donated by groups or individuals who show their support for the shelter and guests through their gift of cooking. This informational page offers information to those interested in providing a home-cooked meal for our guests.
NOTE: If you are considering donating food, please know that if we cannot use food donations in a timely manner, we will gift them to other organizations who will be able to use them.
In order to allow as many people as possible the opportunity to bring in meals, the schedule is usually done only a month or two in advance. A few of our groups commit to a regular schedule of meals. These arrangements are made through the Meal Coordinator. Please see the meal schedule page for schedule and openings.
The schedule is updated regularly during the shelter season. Please contact our Meal Coordinator, Mike Westenberg, regarding dates you or your group are interested in providing a meal. Each date submitted will be approved via email when you schedule. Please email Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org
Initially we will ask meal groups to please plan the meal for approximately 60 people with hearty appetites. Once your group is scheduled, the Meal Coordinator will send out updates based on the current number of guests utilizing our shelter meals.
Meals must be cooked outside of the shelter and brought in ready to serve. Our operating agreement does not allow us to cook at the shelter. Food should be brought in containers that you can take back home with you or are disposable.
Please let the Meal Coordinator know your menu when you plan what you will be bringing. The menus submitted will be kept on the meal calendar. We keep track of it so we’ll have some idea of what the menu at the shelter has been, and as a way to help others know what will be served in the days before and after them.
If you would like to share your recipe with other cooks, please send them to the Meal Coordinator for inclusion in our recipe page.
Milk, Plates, Cups
Besides the meal we ask you to bring:
3-4 gallons of milk
1 gallon juice/drink
paper plates, cups, and bowls
There is no requirement to provide dessert as part of the meal. There are usually a lot of sweet donations for the residents to eat. If you do want to provide dessert, consider treats that are lower in refined sugar, such as fruit based desserts or perhaps even jello. Many of our clients deal with diabetes, and we want to help them with healthy options as much as we can.
Serving the Meal
Please note that all volunteers serving meals at the shelter must be 18 years old or older.
The shelter opens and starts receiving guests at 5:00pm. Please plan on arriving with your food approximately 5:30 and begin serving no later than 6:00pm. 3-5 people is a good sized group for the shelter’s kitchen space.
If you haven’t served before, look for our “Lead Volunteer” for the evening, who will be happy to answer any questions you have. Lead Volunteers are identified with an orange button.
Please use gloves when serving and handling any food.
Check the fridge to see if there are “other things” you can use to help free up space. Feel free to heat and serve food found in the fridge, as well as use canned fruit and vegetables in the cupboards.
Please clean up the kitchen, wash pots and pans and put away. The kitchen closes for the evening around 7:30. Any guests arriving later in the evening will be served a meal from the leftovers and/or supplies in the cupboard by other volunteers who are working at the shelter.
Volunteer Sign In
Everyone in your group who comes to help serve will be asked to sign in and provide some basic contact information as a food volunteer. All volunteers must also fill out a TB Risk Assessment and sign a Confidentiality Agreement Form.
In addition to the evening meal we do schedule people to bring in breakfasts. In the past, we have had groups who brought in a big scrambled egg meal for our guests on Sundays. It was a neat way for them to make Sunday special. We’ve also had groups do mid-week mcmuffin or pancake breakfasts for the guests. If you are an early bird who likes to cook, please contact us. The same information regarding cooking at the shelter applies to breakfasts as well. Food must be brought ready to serve. Breakfasts should be ready to serve to guests at 6 am.
Thank you for your interest in providing our shelter guests with a delicious meal. You are a blessing to all of us.
Beginning in May the shelter will be open to guests during the day on Tuesdays. This provides our guests the opportunity to come in and take a shower, get some laundry done, meet with case workers and service providers, and have a nice lunch together.
We invite individuals and groups to sign up to make and serve a lunch meal or schedule to drop the meal off for other volunteers to serve. Lunches should feed approximately 50 people and are served 11:30 am- 1 pm.