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Give families the gift of time.
Cooking is often the last thing families have on their mind after a long day at the hospital – this is where you step in by volunteering to cook an evening meal for them.
You don’t have to be a culinary connoisseur – bring your energy, enthusiasm and ingredients, and have fun as a team!
“The Family Dinner Programme is so much more than feeding tired, stressed out, hungry families. It also creates some stability and normality, eating at a regular time and eating home-cooked food. It creates a gathering point where families share their trials and tribulations of the day.”
Pat Connell, Father, 229 nights
By taking part in the Family Dinner Programme, your company, organisation or group will ensure that families can enjoy home-cooked, nutritious meals together at a time when they need them the most. Our Family Dinner Programme Calendar is below, the dates in green are free to book. Once you have completed your booking request, we will endeavour to contact you within 24 hours to approve your booking.
Click here to find out more about how the Family Dinner Programme works. For important information, including our Covid-19 policy please click here.
How does it work?
The House in Christchurch has full kitchen facilities, just like the ones you have at home, including five ovens and a barbecue so you won’t need to bring any cooking items with you.
Please note that all meals must be prepared onsite. Your group kindly supplies the ingredients for the meal, however we will let you know about a week before your selected date if we have an excess of any produce that you may wish to use.
On average, you would be catering for 40 to 60 people, including your team. As the numbers staying in the House changes very quickly, we recommend you give us a call the day before you take part in the programme to get a more accurate estimation of how many people you will be cooking for.
We suggest a maximum of six people cook the meal to enable the team to work easily within our kitchen facilities. It also ensures families aren’t overwhelmed.
If there are more than six of you who want to get involved, you can book out several nights in a row and have a cook-off.
This is your opportunity to rustle up all your culinary skills and create a two-course menu consisting of a main meal and a dessert. When selecting a menu try to choose simple meals that incorporate children’s tastes, while still being nutritious. You may wish to have a bit of fun and incorporate a theme e.g. dress up as Superheroes or a cuisine theme e.g. Mexican.
What happens on the night?
It is preferable that you aim to have dinner served at 6pm. Dinner is served buffet style.
After you have served the families we encourage you to sit down and enjoy the meal with them.
Some families will not be able to make dinner service and will request a meal be kept aside for them. These meals are plated, covered in cling wrap and stored appropriately – our overnight supervisor will assist your team with this and the dinner set up.
Help out in Invercargill
The Ronald McDonald Family Room, Southland Hospital does not currently have a regular Family Dinner Programme. However, there are still many ways you can help keep tummies full by donating towards the purchase of meals, or providing frozen meals. Contact our Family Room Supervisor to find out more.
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