The breakfasts served Monday through Friday are very simple, consisting of cereals, breads, oatmeal, milk, juice, coffee, etc. Staff put out these items around 7 am.
On the weekends, if the morning volunteers are willing to make a hot breakfast, the families will be very excited. Even part of a hot breakfast, such as scrambled eggs in addition to the usual breakfast items is nice. Weekend breakfast should be served at 9 am. For breakfast ideas and recipes, see the Recipe section of our website.
Weekday lunches consist of sack lunches prepared by Alpha House families the night before. The overnight volunteer and staff set out lunch supplies and assist parents in preparing the sack lunches (sandwiches, chips/snack, fruit, juice box, etc.).
Weekend Lunches (and holidays) depend upon what food is available—leftovers from dinners that week or food prepared from the freezer and/or pantry provide the basis for this meal. This is why we especially appreciate leftovers!
What to prepare?
Figuring out what to cook for dinner can be difficult, especially when it is for twenty-some people who you have never met. Please make something that is kid-friendly and that you like to eat and enjoy cooking. It is important that we supply our families with well-rounded and nutritious meals, and that there is enough food for everyone.
How much food to prepare?
A few days before you are scheduled to prepare the Alpha House dinner, please call your Congregation Coordinator or Alpha House to find out how many people are currently staying with us and if they have any food allergies or other special dietary restrictions. Eating together as residents, volunteers and staff helps to build an important sense of community here at Alpha House. Please remember to make enough food for the residents, the meal volunteers (usually 2-5 people), and a few additional staff/volunteers typically here at Alpha House in the evening (2-3 people). If dinners need to be saved for families who have not returned in time for dinner, the Coordinator/Shelter Aide will tell the volunteers how many plates should be saved.
Main Dish—There are many ideas for main dishes listed in the Dinner Ideas. We would like to try to ensure variety in the week’s menu. There is no schedule to stick to, however keep in mind that we do not want to have similar meals several nights per week. For example, Mexican food is very popular but no one wants to eat burritos every night. Also keep in mind that meals should appeal to all ages—especially kids!
Side Dish—Please prepare one or two kid-friendly side dishes.
Vegetable—Salad and other veggie dishes are popular and healthy.
Desserts—Please bring fruit for dessert on weekdays to help kids cut down on sugar. Whole fruit is great and extra can be used in lunches. Fruit salad or fruit jell-o dishes are fine as well. Monday nights are Smoothie Night, when we make yogurt and frozen fruit smoothies. Smoothies could also be prepared on other nights for a healthy and delicious dessert. Any dessert on weekends would be gobbled up happily!
Please see the following resources for more information about preparing dinners:
Dinner Ideas: For ideas on constructing dinner.
Google Doc: To see what has been served recently at Alpha House.
Recipes: For more ideas and recipes of tasty dishes.