What is the Meal Teams Program?
The Meal Team Program is a volunteer activity designed for groups seeking a way to
assist families and individuals experiencing difficult times by providing them with the gift
of a homemade nutritious dinner. Groups typically spend 2-3 hours preparing meals that
will be distributed to struggling members of the community, such as those in distress
due to illness or loss. The program is ideal for groups seeking a one-time commitment,
for team-building events or volunteer days. Returning groups are welcome and
encouraged!


Why volunteer?
The Meal Team Program is designed to support community members in times of crisis.
Clients of the program will be provided with the meals, relieving them of a daily task that
can often feel overwhelming in times of distress. This program allows groups to provide
assistance to those who may otherwise have not received support in a tangible way,
without having to commit to a regular schedule. We recognize that not everyone can
commit to time-intensive activities; the Meal Team Program provides a way to fit
meaningful volunteerism into busy schedules and provides a way to make a difference
in your neighbours’ lives.


How does it work?

The volunteer group will supply the team members, choose the recipes, and supply the groceries. The Team will also need to supply the ingredient list and the reheating instructions. Helping Hands will book the commercial kitchen, give orientation to the Team Lead, supply the packaging and printed labels; then store and distribute the meals. Meals will be packaged in family size tin foil containers with cardboard lids. The day of volunteering, the team will cook, assemble, label meals, and clean the kitchen as outlined in the orientation. The meals will then be frozen and stored until distributed. 

*One group of 4-6 volunteers can make approximately 15-20 meals in 2-3 hours with
$200 of groceries.
*Assistance to supply the dry ingredients for recipes can be arranged to help cut down
on cost. ie. canned beans, pasta, rice, & tomato sauce etc.


Who should take part in the Meal Team Program?
Groups of all kinds! Family groups, neighborhood groups, sports teams, book clubs,
work colleagues, church groups and youth groups… the list is endless. If you have a
team with a desire to help out in your community, this program is for you.
What do I need to get involved?
A team, a small budget, able hands, one free evening (or weekend afternoon), and a
heart for your community.


Please note:
One person from the group must have their AHS Alberta Food Safety
Basics, a copy of which must be provided to Helping Hands. If no one can acquire their
permit, it may be possible to arrange to have someone join the group who has their
permit. Please let us know if that is the case.
Link: https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/eph/Page3151.aspx


How do I get involved?
Call the Helping Hands Food Security Programs Manager at 587-580-9031 or email
food@helpinghandscochrane.ca to discuss details, dates, and your group’s specific
plan. Book a time, then get ready to make a difference in your community

Thank you to St. Andrew’s United Church for their continued support of our programs and use of their commercial kitchen!