Re: Meal Participation Program
From: lienjud (
Date: Sat, 30 Jan 2010 22:46:15 -0800 (PST)

 Dear Eta:
our approach at Cascadia Commons has evolved over time and we are always open 
to changing if need be. First,  I would suggest doing a survey to see what the 
barriers to participation are and what it would take for people to come back.
In our community we saw how hard it was for parents with small children to 
participate and said that only one parent needed to work, we also do medical 
exemptions for people unable to work. 
Currently, we have meals twice a week and about 2/3 of the community 
participates. There is only participation level. We need 6 work credits for a 
rotation and can eat as many times as we wish. lead cook counts for 2 credits 
and she plans the menu, shops and cooks. asst cook and cleaning counts for one 
credit. our team consists of 2 cooks and 2 cleaners. Our meal club planner 
looks at # of participants and then designs the length of rotation. we have a 
calendar up and sign up to cook and clean. At the end of the rotation, I look 
at # of meals eaten and $ spent by cooks for meals and figure out what we owe 
people or they owe us. Our meals usually have from 10 to 25 people there. 
Sunday night is very popular and the attendance greatest. for people who get 
home late, they can ask for a save plate. In the summer with many people away, 
we do potlucks on the midweek meal. Budget per meal if $ 4.75 to 5.50 and we 
charge $5.25 to 6.00 that includes 50 cents for pantry supplies. we have one 
person who handles the pantry, organizing, ordering etc and we get our supplies 
from Azure Standards. That is all I can think of. hope this helps. please write 
if you have more questions.

Judith Lienhard



-----Original Message-----
From: Eta Braun <etabr [at]>
To: cohousing-l [at]
Sent: Wed, Jan 20, 2010 12:11 pm
Subject: [C-L]_ Meal Participation Program

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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