Re: helping neighbors share common meals if they can't afford to pay
From: Elizabeth Magill (
Date: Tue, 19 Oct 2021 14:42:26 -0700 (PDT)
We do this. People were asked to donate, with a suggestion of adding
$5 per month to their meals account (we pay for teh meals we eat, a
meat dinner is $5).

People donated, some regularly, some a single lump sum.

Now anyone can ask to have their meals covered from the fund. Also if
someone's meal accounts gets past due, someone from the fund checks in
on whether they want the "good neighbor fund" to pay their bill. Then
some folk didn't pay their cohousing dues (which for us are separate
from condo/HOA dues) and someone from the fund asked, and the fund
paid for that. I believe there have been other small expenses that
have been paid for some members.

Basically the "good neighbor fund" team decides how to handle the
monies. And we generally have enough money cover what needs to be

I'm not on that team so I'm telling you what it looks like from the outside.

(The Rev. Dr.) Elizabeth Mae Magill
Pastor, Ashburnham Community Church
Minister to the Affiliates, Ecclesia Ministries

On Tue, Oct 19, 2021 at 10:32 AM Muriel Kranowski <murielk [at]> wrote:
> One of our caring teams brought a request to a team I am on that is
> responsible for managing common meals. They asked us to create a fund that
> would allow our neighbors who are in a financial bind to still come to
> common meals - we charge per meal to those who sign up for each meal,
> billed monthly. Billing and payment are handled by the Meals Accountant.
> The Meals Account is a separate bank account.
> My team met about this last night and agreed that we would like to do this.
> We were wondering how to administer it in a way that would be kind,
> confidential, and not too much of a PITA for the Meals Accountant to deal
> with.
> Do any of your communities do this? If so, how do you handle it? Is it an
> ongoing situation for the person in need until they let someone know they
> don't need it, or on a meal-by-meal request basis, or what? How do you fund
> it? How much use does it get? Do you do anything in particular to maintain
> confidentiality? Anything else that I should know?
> I will greatly appreciate any practical voice-of-experience responses!
>   Muriel @ Shadowlake Village, Blacksburg VA
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