Re: Meal Cleaners—any good solutions for getting 'em? <– Date –>    <– Thread –> From: Ann Zabaldo (zabaldoearthlink.net) Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2012 05:33:40 -0700 (PDT)
```Hello all --

This has been the most interesting thread.  The many ways cohousing groups have
devised their meal plans shows the diversity of solutions based on each
community's social culture.

I'm going to throw in "Soup n' Simple" from Takoma Village here in Washington,
DC.

We have one sit down meal a week on Monday night.  (We have lots of pot lucks,
brunches and in the summertime especially the grills are fired up during the
week and on weekends.)

This post describes the Monday night dinner.

It's Simple, Sustainable and almost Maintenance Free.

This meal plan is based on a "rotation" system.  A rotation is determined by
the number of people signing up divided by the number of people needed on a
team which gives you the number of weeks in the rotation. In our case we
started out w/ four people on a team.  Now there are three people.

Here's an example:  21 adults sign up divided by 3 people on a team ='s 7 weeks
in the rotation.  For seven (7) weeks each team buys, cooks and cleans up one
time. The cost of the meal is set at \$5.00 per adult -- I don't know how much a
child's meal is.

Each team decides who buys, cooks, cleans.  Each team pays the cost of one
entire meal one time and eats the other six at no charge.

Since the price of the meal is set, the number of people at a meal is set, and
since everyone in the rotation is on a team, no money changes hands and no one
has to track who is doing what.  Very Simple.  If you miss a meal ... you just
miss a meal.  Guests are charged \$5.00 per meal -- we ask the cook in advance
if it's ok to bring a guest.

At the end of the rotation, one of the members puts up a new sign up sheet for
the next rotation and makes an announcement at a meeting.   That's the extent
of the maintenance.  People sign in and out of the rotation period as their
schedules allow.  Sustainable.

This meal plan has been in effect for 8-10 years.  A little under one-third of
the adults participate in the system at any one time.  Children generally
participate if their parents participate.

Here's a fun addition to our overall meal system.  Twice a month one of the
members cooks a "Kid's Dinner."   Kids only.  He started offering this on his
own.   He gets assistance from various members for cooking and cleaning.  Not
sure how the meal is paid for -- he does put out an announcement 1 day in
advance.  It's a simple initiative provided by one member on his own that
benefits everyone in the community.  In my best begging posture which I have
honed to an ART form I just don't seem to be able to wrangle an invitation to
this dinner ... Oh ... I'm too old ...  :-)

Best --

Ann Zabaldo
Takoma Village Cohousing
Washington, DC
Principal, Cohousing Collaborative, LLC
Falls Church VA
703-688-2646

On Jun 24, 2012, at 6:55 AM, R Philip Dowds wrote:

>
>>
>> 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
>>
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```

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