Re: Paying and Accounting for meals.
From: Tom Smyth (
Date: Tue, 12 Dec 2017 06:35:05 -0800 (PST)
Hi folks! Gather's <> original purpose was as a
meals planning system. It does everything for you but the cooking! It
handles dividing up costs, keeping track of signups, reminding people about
the meal and their meal jobs, facility reservations, etc.

Gather is still in beta and is free for any community to try out. Let me
know if you'd like to take a look.

More info here:

On Tue, Dec 12, 2017 at 12:12 AM, Richard L Kohlhaas <rlkohl [at]>

>           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
> 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]>
> (719)633-8170
> Resident of  Colorado Springs Cohousing Community at Casa Verde Commons
> Completed March 2003. 34 units on 4 acres
> _________________________________________________________________
> Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at:

Tom Smyth

Worker-Owner, Sassafras Tech Collective
Specializing in innovative, usable tech for social change · @sassafrastech

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