Re: Common house meal prices
From: Richard L Kohlhaas (
Date: Sat, 23 Jun 2018 11:19:54 -0700 (PDT)
Here is what we do at Casa Verde:

{SEQ CHAPTER \h \r 1}          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 
and evening meal.  Currently, only about one-half to two-thirds of families 
participate; some
sign up for only half the meals, and some may drop out for a cycle or two.  A 
team does the scheduling, coordination, and pantry stocking .

We have four-person crews: during one cycle (about 3.5 months), EACH (adult) 
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 FOR THE FOOD, 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-fifth 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 on line.  Participants mark the schedule when they can  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 
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 to the two common meals per week, we have potlucks (cookouts in warm
weather) on major holidays.

Date sent:              Sat, 23 Jun 2018 08:38:58 -0400
To:                     cohousing-l [at]
Subject:                [C-L]_ Common house meal prices
From:                   Lynne via Cohousing-L <cohousing-l [at]>
Send reply to:          cohousing-l [at]
Copies to:              Lynne <zemawolf [at]>

> Here at Gainesville CoHousing things are moving right along, with 5 of
> our 24 houses complete! The Common House Committee is  working on
> setting up a system for our common meals, and would like to know what
> other communities are currently charging. We are aiming for healthy
> and would like to use locally produced food as much as possible.
> Thanks! Lynne Salzburg
Dick Kohlhaas
Member of Colorado Springs Cohousing Community at Casa Verde Commons
34 households on 4 acres  1.5 miles from center of city.

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