Thursday, December 17, 2015

10 Steps to Setting up a Holiday Food Serving Center

One of the things my dad and I do on Thanksgiving morning is Serving Irving.  Its hosted by a church in my hometown and we take food out in to the community and feed.  It really is my favorite thing we do all day.  You know I love to do things that make people smile and there is nothing more fulfilling that providing something for someone they cannot provide for themselves.

So, I thought I'd provide a little "Guide to Setting Up a Holiday Food Serving Center" because you know what I think - when you feed a belly, the door is opened to feed a soul.

Now "food" can look like lots of things.  But, since its the Christmas/Holiday Season, I thought I
would pass along a grocery list, set up map and to do list in case you might get a group together and feed some of the homeless in your community this holiday season or winter.

10 Steps to Setting up a Holiday Food Serving Center/Feeding Site:
  1. Call and coordinate location, time, and set up with site coordinator/contact 
  2. Invite people to eat if it is not the obvious meal (canvas neighborhood or mail flyers) 
  3. Gather friends and volunteers to help you 
  4. Pull together set up supplies…keep it simple! 
  5. Prepare food or coordinate getting the items donated 
  6. Load food and supplies in car and move to feeding location 
  7. Set up serving site 
  8. Serve food and share a smile 
  9. Clean up 
  10. Secure a chance to do it again! 

Grocery List:
  • Protein – Turkey, Ham, Chicken
  • Starch – mashed potatoes, dressing, rice, corn, mac and cheese 
  • Veggie – green beans, peas, mixed veggies 
  • Bread – rolls, sliced bread 
  • Gravy, if you wish (Home Depot bucket works great!) 
  • Dessert – pies, cakes, cookies 
  • Bottles of water if serving beverages with meal
Holiday Food Serving Center Shopping List - take care of the homeless and hungry this holiday @bigpittstop
 

Set-up Supply List:
  • Long tables for food set up
  • Table covering – paper table cloth, plastic table cloth, butcher paper 
  • Plates or to-go containers to serve meals 
  • Small plates or dessert containers 
  • Plastic forks and napkins if serving meal at location 
  • If serving warm, catering sterno set up – holders, warming pans, sterno heaters 
  • Stick lighter 
  • Gallon of water to go in bottom of catering pan set up 
  • To-go grocery sacks 
  • Serving spoons (include slotted if serving veggies) 
  • Tongs for meat 
  • Knife and server for pies/desserts 
  • Ladle if doing gravy 
  • Hand can opener 
  • Sharpies and pens 
  • Trash bags 
  • Rags or clean up cloths 
  • Lots and lots of smiles

And, what about the table?  Here's a little diagram to help you set up your feeding site:

10 Steps to Setting Up a Holiday Food Serving Center - table set up/ display @bigpittstop

Whether you are the one to organize the whole thing, get a group together or just participate in the day, I promise you will be the one who's heart will be the most blessed.  Most of us have so much.  We don't worry about where the next meal will come from.  We have a job that puts food on our table and can probably help put food on another.  Be a blessing this holiday season and open your eyes to the needs around you!

This post is part of the #NWArkCares series by the Northwest Arkansas Bloggers group. To view other posts, visit the Northwest Arkansas Bloggers Pinterest Board or follow #NWArkCares through social media.

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