Host Family Dinner

How to host

  • Select a date on the calendar
  • Prepare food (or order catered food) for 70 people (more if including volunteers)
  • Arrive at 3:00pm to set up
    • Use Family House kitchens to prepare or heat up food as needed
    • If catered food, please let us know in advance
    • List all ingredients on your menu in case of food allergies
  • Serve dinner from 4:00 – 5:00 pm (typically 2nd floor kitchen)
  • Plate to-go boxes for some families and deliver to kitchens on other floors
  • Ok to walk other floors and kitchens to invite families to 2nd floor dinner
  • Clean-up from 5:00 – 6:00 pm
    • Place dishes in dishwashers and turn on
    • Wipe and disinfect all countertops and tables
    • Sweep floors
    • Straighten up communal areas

What to bring

  • Food
  • Single-serving compostable to-go containers
  • Paper plates & cups
  • Drinks (wine okay)
  • Ice (if needed for drinks)
  • Table décor (optional)

Menu ideas

  • Tacos, quesadillas, rice & beans
  • Pasta with chicken, roasted seasonal veggies, French bread
  • Lasagna, green beans, salad, garlic bread
  • Grilled cheese with tomato soup, broccoli
  • Chicken or avocado Cesar salad, bread
  • Chicken, rice, roasted veggies
  • Chili, toppings (sour cream, shredded cheese, onions), cornbread, salad bar
  • Baked potato bar (cheese, sour cream, broccoli, bacon), seasonal roasted veggies
  • Pizza, spinach salad, zucchini fries
  • Pulled pork sandwiches or ribs, potato salad
  • Hot dogs, potato wedges, steamed veggies
  • Meat loaf, mashed potatoes, gravy
  • Spaghetti, meatballs, spinach salad, garlic bread
  • Picnic food (salads, hot dogs, hamburgers, fruit)
  • Breakfast for dinner (pancakes, sausage, etc., *no eggs please)
  • **No egg dishes due to allergy concerns**

Food Prep & Safety Tips

We comply with USDA guidelines for safe food preparation, as detailed below. For more information, visit:

  • Wash hands thoroughly with germicidal soap and warm water before handling food, after handling raw seafood or meat, and after using the restroom, smoking, sneezing, or touching your face or hair.
  • Wash, rinse, and sanitize all equipment & utensils before and after use. Always wash & sanitize your knife & cutting board in soapy, hot water after handling seafood, raw poultry or meat.
  • Always wash fruits, vegetables & produce before serving to wash away dirt and pesticides.
  • Return all ingredients to refrigerated storage if preparation is interrupted.
  • Use a food thermometer to check all internal cooked food temperatures.
  • Bacteria multiply rapidly in “danger zone” temperatures of 41degrees F to 139 degrees F. To ensure safety, hot foods must be held at 140 degrees F or above (most bacteria is destroyed at this temp). Stirring food frequently evenly distributes the temperature. Cold food must be kept at 40 degrees F or below.
  • To destroy bacteria, poultry should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
  • Cooked food should be served immediately and hot! Food should not be left out for more than two hours and leftovers should be stored in refrigeration.
  • Avoid keeping food in danger zone temp of 41 degrees F to 139 degrees F for more than 4 hours cumulative (from preparation to service, to cool down/storage).
  • Defrost frozen products in the refrigerator (not under hot running water in a sink).
  • When shopping, select all of the non-perishables first, then vegetables leaving the meat and dairy for last.


Please contact:

  • Tarence Dixon, Volunteer Program Manager,
  • Karen Banks, Chief Community Engagement Officer,

Thank you for your support!