Meal Preparation/Serving for Safe Harbor Shelter

Thanks for your interest in fulfilling Calvary’s commitment to providing meals for folks at Safe Harbor on the first and third Fridays of each month

This ministry requires someone to coordinate a small group (existing church group, family group, group of friends, etc.) in the planning of, shopping for, preparation and serving of a meal as outlined below.  If you do not have a group to work with and/or are not comfortable coordinating a meal, but would like to help, let us know and we’ll try to connect you with others to work with in this ministry. 

Here’s what’s involved:  

  • Plan the meal:  Decide whether you’ll cook something (casseroles, soups, sloppy joes all work well) or purchase the meal from a restaurant/caterer (pasta from Avanti’s, chicken from WalMart, etc.).  Although numbers are often lower on Friday nights, you should plan on serving up to 75-80 people—if you have fewer, they’ll be glad to eat seconds!  Safe Harbor often has beverages there already, but you may want to take lemonade mix or something just in case (or serve water).  They have all the plates, napkins, cutlery, etc. you’ll need.
  • Shop for the meal:  Buy necessary groceries if you’re cooking or order the food ahead of time if you are bringing something in.  Often the people preparing and serving the meal will divide up the cost and pay for it; however, Calvary’s Outreach Committee does have a budget with which to reimburse you for at least part of the cost if you so desire (save your receipts!).
  • Prepare or Deliver the meal:  Arrive at Safe Harbor (601 W. Washington St. in downtown Bloomington a bit west of Lee St. in a new building toward the back of the Salvation Army headquarters building) early enough to be ready to serve the meal at 7:00 p.m.  If you’re cooking the meal, it must be prepared in Safe Harbor’s kitchen—the Health Department does not allow cooking at home and taking it over already prepared.
  • Serve the meal:  You’ll serve the meal cafeteria style to the folks beginning at about 7:00 p.m.  Three to five people doing the serving is ideal—more than that and you might get in each other’s way (if your group is larger, perhaps some can donate money, some shop, some prepare, and some serve, or perhaps you could split up and take 2 nights!).  If you’re new at this, the Safe Harbor staff person on duty should be able to show you the ropes for serving the meal.  NOTE:  There are plastic gloves at Safe Harbor which you should wear while serving the food.
  • That’s it!  Folks at Safe Harbor will do all the clean up for you—you’ll probably be on your way home by 7:30 or 7:45.

If you have any questions, contact Ralph Smith at 829-2004 or

Thanks again!