Eating a meal together is one way we share fellowship in the American culture. So Friends who prepare and serve food for a meal are especially valued in our community. We ask Friends who are in the park that day to share a meal with our neighborhood guests, so Friends who prepare food are serving not only neighborhood guests, but Friends from the larger community. We also ask that you step outside your comfort zone and step around the table with a plate and sit down and eat with our homeless guests.
Before You Serve – There are some specific rules in the Feed by Grace policies that apply to serving food due to health and safety. Please make sure you read the Food Service section of the policies carefully. After reviewing this section, contact our Volunteer Coordinator at email@example.com or 817-744-8211 to schedule your time or if you have questions. You can also register at the online Calendar tab, but please make sure you allow one business week before the date you wish to serve so the Coordinator has ample time to contact you.
Planning – We have anywhere from 300 to 500 guests each Saturday so we ask that you bring enough to serve a minimum of 250. If you or your group have the resources to provide an entire meal for 250, wonderful! If your resources are more limited, call our Coordinator to be paired up with other small groups to make up a complete meal.
Menus – There are no electric outlets near the serving area so think through your menu carefully. Can people without teeth or with dental problems eat what you are providing? Bananas and oranges are better than apples. Are plates, bowls or utensils needed; if so, can the meal be easily balanced on a paper plate? Try to bring something our guests don’t get often. Instead of hot dogs, think about Frito pie or homemade casserole. As of June 1, 2014 bottled water cannot be served in Unity Park. Lemonade or ice tea is welcome. Unity Park provides water and coffee in cups to our patrons.
Setup and Serving – We have found consistency is important to our guests. Therefore, breakfast and lunch are served at 8:30 a.m. and noon promptly. Servers are required to be here at least 30 minutes before serving times to setup. Up to 2 vehicles per group are allowed into the park to transport food and equipment. The vehicles must enter and exit through the Presidio Street gate out of safety concerns for the large number of pedestrians in the park. All other vehicles must be parked outside Unity Park and Friends enter through the Cedar Street gate. We do have tables you can borrow, but you need to allow time to get them from the shed and set them up. If your group is scheduled to provide a meal and you are unable to do so, please contact us as soon as you know so other arrangements can be made.
Feed by Grace staff will manage the food lines. We know from experience what works and what doesn’t. PLEASE do not allow or suggest to our guests to come to the front of the line or disregard the line. If they are disabled, have children, or are pregnant, the staff will handle it with the system that is in place. If we have guests who are truly unable to stand in line, a meal is taken to them.
Remember, to alternate servers so that all of your members have an opportunity to get a plate or drink and sit down to share with our park guests. This changes the dynamic from one of handout to shared meal.
After Serving – Please clean and return any tables you borrowed. Pick up all trash and place your trash bags in the large dumpster near the community building. We appreciate your cooperation in keeping the park nice for our guests.
We ask that all Friends – individuals or groups – new to Unity Park are familiar with the orientation packet shown below. It is designed to acquaint new Friends with the needs of this particular community, Feed By Grace policies, and safety guidelines that must be followed at Unity Park. Individual Friends need to read the policies and sign the acknowledgement page. We do allow group leaders to read the policies, impart to their group the information pertinent to their service, and sign the acknowledgement page on behalf of the group. However, EACH person must read the Safety Guidelines and sign a Liability Waiver. This keeps our insurance folks happy! Acknowledgement pages and liability waivers can be turned to the Coordinator prior to serving via email or in-person at the Feed by Grace offices. They can also be submitted in-person on the first day when a new Friend serves. Thank you for cooperating with the paperwork. We guarantee it is only the first time you serve that we need it!