Make a Meal

How are your chef skills?

Grassroots provides three meals daily for up to 50 shelter residents in our on-site commercial kitchen. We rely heavily on community support to feed our residents. There are a number of ways that individuals and organizations can help support our meals program. Here are some of them:

  1. Man eating dinner6Prepare (offsite) and deliver a full meal for 50 people to the kitchen at Grassroots.
  2. Prepare (offsite) and deliver part of a meal — just the entrée, for example — for 50 people to Grassroots. Obviously we need to coordinate carefully to assure that folks get a full meal that day.
  3. Provide the ingredients for a meal to be prepared by Grassroots staff.
  4. Prepare sandwiches or other lunch items with fruit, chips, granola bars, or other sides.
  5. Prepare or purchase snack foods for guests.
  6. Have a food drive to collect necessary items for our pantry.

Dinner is served approximately from 5 pm to 7 pm. If meals are delivered at 3 pm or after, we can keep them hot on a steam table, but if they are delivered much earlier, it would be best that they were delivered chilled, to be re-heated for 5 pm dinner. Meals may also be delivered hot, in advance, and cooled in the Grassroots refrigerator.  If they are delivered hot, however,  it is best to deliver them either within two hours of mealtime, or 8-24 hours in advance. (They need to either be kept hot, or have time to completely cool and be reheated.)

Dinner Ideas

Dinner should provide balanced nutrition, generally a meat, a starch and one or more vegetables. Vegetarian meals are welcome. Casseroles are the easiest things to prepare, and are welcome, but the guests do get a lot of pasta dishes and like variety. We avoid serving pork without a second option as some guests may not eat pork. Some meal ideas are:

  1. Pot roast with potatoes and gravy, veggies and desert
  2. Roasted, grilled or fried chicken with fixings
  3. Spaghetti and meatballs with salad and bread
  4. Meatloaf with mashed potatoes and veggies
  5. Lasagna, bread, and salad
  6. Baked Ziti, bread, and salad
  7. Beef, turkey, or chicken hot dogs with Mac & Cheese and broccoli
  8. Barbeque beef or pulled pork sandwiches with sides
  9. Burgers and fries for Grassroots staff to prepare, with salad
  10. In the summer, garden salad with chicken salad and crackers
  11. Your grandmother’s favorite casserole

Our kitchen manager will be glad to discuss anything you might think of and see if we can make it work

Food Drives

If you would like to collect food for our pantry, some of the items that are most useful are:

  1. Condiments (mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, pickles, relish)
  2. Salad Dressing (creamy dressings such as Ranch, Cesar, etc.)
  3. Soups (cream of mushroom and other hearty soups)
  4. Peanut butter
  5. Canned tuna
  6. Ground Coffee- regular
  7. Sugar and coffee creamer
  8. Crackers and packaged snack items
  9. Vegetables in large cans
  10. Breakfast cereal

If you have any questions about food for Grassroots, please contact Dorothy Howard, kitchen manager, at 410-531-6006. Grassroots is located at 6700 Freetown Road, Columbia, MD 21044.

Click here for a pdf of the Meals Information.