Host Family Dinner

When you think of bringing people together, most of the time a dinner table is involved. Easing the stress of shopping or cooking after a long, grueling day at the hospital gives our families the opportunity to relax and collect themselves. Creating that community of support is what Family Night is all about. To host a family dinner, please follow instructions below. You can also download these instructions here.

How to host

  • Select a date on the calendar
  • Prepare food (or order catered food) for 50 people (more if including volunteers)
  • Arrive at 2:30pm to set up
    • You are welcome to use the kitchens at Family House to prepare your meal or heat up anything as needed
    • Food can also be catered – please let us know in advance if you are planning this
    • Please include all ingredients listed out in case any families have food
  • Serve dinner from 4:30 – 5:30 pm in our 2nd floor south kitchen. Once food is prepared, begin to put food into individual containers and split evenly amongst the 8 kitchens.
  • Please feel free to walk to the other kitchens and floors to invite families if few have shown up by the dinner start time.
  • Clean-up from 5:30 – 6:30 pm
    • All used Family House dishware, silverware and cookware must be run through the dishwashers to sanitize for the
    • Communal areas should be straightened up, surfaces disinfected and swept to ensure a clean and safe space for

Please bring:

  • Drinks:
  • Waters/Sparkling Water – Le Croix
  • Honest juice boxes for kids (has lower sugar)
  • Enough food for the families
  • Table décor (optional)

Menu ideas

  • Tacos
  • Chili and cornbread
  • Soup, toasted cheese sandwiches, salad
  • Breakfast for dinner (pancakes, sausage, etc.)
  • Baked potatoes with toppings (cheese, sour cream, broccoli, bacon)
  • Homemade pizza with toppings
  • Make your own hoagies
  • Baby Back Ribs
  • Hot dogs with salad/sauerkraut
  • Meat loaf and potatoes
  • Vegetable/meat lasagna
  • Sloppy Joes
  • Spaghetti and meatballs, salad, garlic bread
  • Chili bar
  • Salad bar
  • Soup and salad
  • Picnic food (salads, hot dogs, hamburgers, fruit)
  • Stir fry
  • **Due to health safety, please do not plan on any egg dishes**
  • **Please plan on about 1/4 of the food to be vegetarian, and the remaining amount to be non-vegetarian**

Food Prep & Safety Tips

At Family House, Inc., we comply with USDA guidelines for food preparation and safety as detailed below. Additional information can be obtained at:

  • 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
  • Wash, rinse, and sanitize all equipment & utensils before and after 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
  • Return all ingredients to refrigerated storage if preparation is · Use a food thermometer to check all internal cooked food temperatures.
  • Bacteria multiply rapidly in “danger zone” temperatures of 41degrees F to 139 degrees 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
  • 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
  • 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:

  • Karen Banks, Chief Community Engagement Officer,

Thank you for your support!