Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Community Dinners!

On the second and fourth Saturdays of every month, WELCOME hosts a Community Dinner at Old First Presbyterian (1752 Sacramento at Van Ness) for any and all that need a good, hot meal. Our guests usually start lining up to come in around 4pm, and then we open the doors to begin serving at 5:30. We have been serving around 200 people per dinner.

As you might imagine, this sort of undertaking cannot be done without a solid volunteer base. If you or a group that you're involved with would be interested in volunteering with these meals, please email our volunteer coordinator at:

We are currently looking for people or organizations to donate food, paper products, and the time to cook and serve.

Here is a typical rundown of our dinners.

2pm: Cooks arrive and begin prepping and cooking the meal.

4pm: Volunteers begin to arrive. They prep the dining room as they set up tables and chairs (and in some cases decorations!), coffee station, serving station, and clothing distribution room.

The coffee station never fails to see a lot of activity and we're always looking for creamer and sugar donations as our guests love to flavor their coffee.

The serving station is set up in the Munroe Room of Old First, and is simply a few tables with food on them.

The clothing distribution room (which doubles as our guest computer lab during the week) is where we give away all the clothes and toiletries that we receive as donations.

5:15: Volunteers circle up to receive instructions about serving. Generally, every volunteer gets one table which becomes their only responsibility for serving throughout the dinner hour.

5:30: The doors open and our guests file in to find a spot at any of our tables. Then the fun begins!

6:30: Most guests are done eating and volunteers begin the clean-up process. Clean-up usually takes about an hour if all the volunteers are working hard.

The dinners are always well received by our guests – and we attribute this to the fact that we cook tasty, healthy meals and that we provide a safe space for all that need to sit and rest for a little while. Our volunteers have enjoyed the work that they do as well – many of them have become regulars for every meal. Perhaps you would like to as well?

Get in touch with us at:

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