Family Meal Program
Thank you for your interest in donating your time and talents to prepare a meal for the families staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Iowa City. Coming home to a hot meal after a long day at the hospital can bring a great deal of relief to a family.
Families staying at the Ronald McDonald House of Iowa City come from a variety of backgrounds. The one thing they have in common is a child with a serious illness or condition. Many families are under a great deal of stress and appreciate coming back to the House after a long day for a home-cooked meal. It is important to understand that family schedules are varied and unpredictable. Families may be unable to return for dinner or brunch, but will be able to enjoy the leftovers.
Please read this document for additional information about the Family Meal Program. As of January, 2013, all meals provided by groups must be prepared and cooked onsite unless prepared at a licensed commercial kitchen and delivered directly from the licensed establishment in a short period of time.
The Ronald McDonald House must be concerned with communicable diseases because we have children staying here with suppressed immune systems. Common communicable diseases can be life threatening for these children. Each person entering the House must complete a Communicable Disease form prior to preparing or serving a meal. The form can be completed in advance or upon arrival at the Ronald McDonald House.
Meal times are available any day of the week. On the weekend, families are more likely to have visitors and/or return home if possible. The recommended time to have dinner ready is 5:30 - 6:00; brunch can be served any time from 9:00 - 2:00.
Suggestions for meals are beef, chicken, pork, casseroles, sub sandwiches, homemade soups, and baked potato bar. Also meals with a theme: Italian Night, Mexican Night, Chinese Night, Pizza Night, etc. Ideas for brunch are egg casseroles, pancakes, French toast, fresh fruit, etc. We encourage your creativity, as tend to have an abundance of spaghetti, lasagna, and taco meals. Think about what you do best, your special dishes, and those for which you receive compliments.
Your menu does not need to meet any dietary restrictions. It should be balanced, though, with vegetables, bread and dessert. The families usually have their own milk, juice, or pop. However, you are welcome to bring beverages.
Number of Families to Serve
The RMH serves 31 families with an average of at least 2 people per room. Although the number of guests vary day-to-day, it is safe to assume that you will be serving 40-50 people. Please understand our families have different, unpredictable schedules subject to frequent changes. They are not always able to make it back in time for brunch or dinner. Leftovers are placed in the refrigerators for families to enjoy when they return from the hospital.
Set-up, Serving, Clean-up
It is important to bring enough people to help set up, serve, and clean up. We have all the necessary pans, dishes, silverware, etc. You are welcome to bring paper plates or plasticware. We have four separate kitchen modules, each equipped with range, microwave, sink, dishwasher, and refrigerator.
We prefer that your group not exceed 10 people. A smaller group provides you with a better opportunity to interact with our families. A larger group tends to overwhelm our families and discourage interaction.
Parking near the Ronald McDonald House is limited and strictly enforced by the University of Iowa. Please park in the metered stalls of the Carver Hawkeye Arena Lot if you will be providing a daytime meal before 4:30 PM. If you will be arriving after 4:30 PM or providing a weekend meal, you may park anywhere in the Carver Hawkeye Arena Lot for free.
Thank you again for your interest in donating your time, effort and talent to cook for our families. Your kindness makes the Ronald McDonald House truly the "House that Love Built". Please contact Sam Bredlau at 319-356-3939 or firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements.