Re: Meal Participation Program
From: Brian Tremback (
Date: Thu, 21 Jan 2010 15:57:47 -0800 (PST)

We've had a meal program at Burlington Cohousing since we moved in a little
over 2 years ago. Because most of us felt that sharing meals was an
important activity, we agreed before moving in that everyone would serve on
a 4-person meal team at least once per month. This has worked out fairly
well and, in this whole time, only a few meals haven't come together. I
suspect that without the monthly committment, community dinners might not be
so successful. Having a scheduler would be nice -- usually a panic email is
sent around by the first person to realize that we don't have cooks for an
upcoming dinner.

We have community dinners on every even day (that is, the 2nd, 4th, 6th,
etc.) so that the days vary each week. This allows people with evening
activities scheduled on specific days more opportunities to participate
(Mon, Wed, Fri one week - Tues, Thur the next). On the weekends, instead of
having dinners prepared by a team in the common kitchen, we have potlucks.

We have 32 homes and a population of about 55 and, on the average, have
about 20 to 25 people at each dinner. Each person contributes $4 ($2 for
children). We maintain meal accounts for each household - when you have
dinner, your account is debited; when you cook and buy ingredients, you're
credited for what you spend.

Brian Tremback
Burlington Cohousing
Burlington, VT

On Wed, Jan 20, 2010 at 3:11 PM, Eta Braun <etabr [at]> wrote:

> I live at Oak Creek Commons in Paso Robles for about 5 years.  We still
> struggle with scheduling two dinners per week (Thursdays and Sundays).
> The number of cooks and cleaners has become smaller over time as well
> as the number of people eating.
> We would like to hear from other communities how they handle their meal
> participation program in general and specifically how they ensure
> enough cooks and cleaners for each meal.  It would also be helpful to
> find out how much they charge for a meal per person.
> Thank you in advance for giving us this information.
> Eta Braun
> Oak Creel Commons
> Paso Robles, CA

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