Re: Paying and Accounting for meals.
From: Richard L Kohlhaas (
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2017 21:12:59 -0800 (PST)
          Community  Meals  at Casa Verde Commons

Since we moved in (2003), we have had community meals twice a week (Sundays, 
and alternating Tues,
Weds and Thurs evenings).  The Sunday meals alternate between brunch and 
evening meal.  Currently,
only about one-half of families participate; some sign up for only half the 
meals, and some may
drop out for a cycle or two.  A three-person team does the scheduling, 
coordination, and pantry
stocking .
We have four-person crews: during one cycle (about 3.5 months), EACH (adult) 
participant MUST be
head cook once, assistant cook once, and on cleanup two times.  Sometimes two 
people will sign up
for all four jobs (two times).  The head cook plans the menu, shops, and PAYS 
THEN EATS FREE the rest of the cycle. The menu can be as elaborate as the cook 
desires.  This
minimizes cash handling and accounting.

Non-participating residents (strictly limited) and guests pay $5 per meal, with 
$3 going to the
head cook and $2 to the pantry fund.  (Guests of the cook are not charged.)  
The pantry is
additionally financed with about one-fourth of our $7.50/adult/month community 
dues, and is stocked
with spices, rice, pasta, flours, condiments, lentils, beans, butter, cooking 
oil, coffee, tea,
etc. The cook can draw on this as needed.  Food is usually served 
cafeteria-style.  If necessary,
the cook will prepare a vegetarian dish and offer gluten-free items.

The schedule for a new cycle (after the number of those participating is 
determined) is posted.
Participants mark the schedule when they CANNOT do a cooking or cleanup task; 
the meal coordinator
then assigns the tasks.

The menu is usually published before the meal by the head cook.  There is a 
"permanent" meal
sign-up list; persons who will not be eating and any guests are urged to 
so-mark the list at least
three days before the meal so the cook can plan quantities.

The head cook has first choice of any leftovers, and may offer them to the 
other diners.  Very
little is wasted.  If a participant will miss a mealtime, they can ask another 
participant to pick
up a "late plate" for them.

The system works well.  The food is usually very good to excellent. There is a 
variety of cuisines
and very rarely has a meal been more than 15 minutes late, and very few have 
been missed-usually
due to illness.

In addition, we have potlucks (cookouts in warm weather) on major holidays.

Dick Kohlhaas <rlkohl [at]>
Resident of  Colorado Springs Cohousing Community at Casa Verde Commons
Completed March 2003. 34 units on 4 acres

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.