Re: Meal Cleaners—any good solutions for getting 'em?
From: S. Kashdan (
Date: Sun, 24 Jun 2012 07:02:34 -0700 (PDT)
At Jackson Place     Cohousing in Seattle, Washington, we usually have four 
meals during the week and one meal (breakfast or dinner) on the weekend.

Volunteering for the meals program is separate from other chores people do 
to help maintain the community. It is a spearate program that people can 
choose to participate in or not, as they feel appropriate. At any one time, 
about one-third of residents are very active in the meals program, about 
one-third are moderately active, and about one-third are only involved 
sporatically. How people are involved changes over time.

We have a meals team that asks cooks and cleaners to commit to either 
cooking or cleaning a month in advance. We have two cooks and two cleaners 
for each meal. We also have one or more shoppers for the meals program. The 
people who volunteer to cook on a specific day choose the menue and let the 
meals team shoppers know so there will be the correct kind and amount of 
food for that meal when it is scheduled.

The meals schedule, with menues and cooks and cleaners is printed in a book 
so people can sign up for the meals they want to participate in.

The cleaners set up for the meal, the cooks prepare the food, and the 
cleaners clean up afterwards.

If the two volunteer cleaners and two cooks have not committed for a 
specific meal, that meal will be canceled. This doesn't happen often, 
although sometimes people trade cleaning or cooking days, and menues may be 
moved along with the cooks committing to a new day.

Our meals program has been going for ten years and seems to work well, with 
ongoing fine-tuning.


Sylvie Kashdan
Community Outreach Liaison
Jackson Place Cohousing
800 Hiawatha Place South
Seattle, WA 98144

--- On Sat, 6/23/12, Martha Wagner <wordbizpdx [at]> wrote:

From: Martha Wagner <wordbizpdx [at]>
Subject: [C-L]_ Meal Cleaners—any good solutions for getting 'em?
To: cohousing-l [at]
Date: Saturday, June 23, 2012, 10:57 PM

Our food team would like to know how other communities have successfully 
dealt with a scarcity of after-dinner cleaners. Our kitchen does get 
cleaned, but often it's the same people who step up to clean when others 
don't sign up or cancel after signing up. Our community does not use 
established cooking or cleaning teams, and anyone can sign up for meals 
whether or not they cook or clean though we request that everyone put in one 
meal-related hour per month. Both cooks and cleaners do get participation 
hours and all adults pay for the meals they eat. We have two regular dinners 
most weeks. Suggestions anyone?

Martha Wagner
Columbia Ecovillage
Portland, OR

Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at:

Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at:

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.