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How to Help Volunteer Cook A Meal

Cook a Meal

Meal-service-at-RMHCSDMeal service

COOK A MEAL FOR OUR FAMILIES ~ Adult, Teen, Children, Group Opportunity

Families who are spending long days and nights with their hospitalized children may come to San Diego's Ronald McDonald House to enjoy three meals daily at our "home away from home." Hot, nutritious meals give these exhausted and overwhelmed families the chance to relax and connect with others who understand what they're going through. 

Around 300 volunteer groups serve meals for our families each year. We welcome your help, and it's a great way to connect with families. It's easy! Just organize your group of 10-15 people, choose one of two options for preparing the meal, and complete a Dinner Reservation Form.


Sunday – Breakfast Brunch
Monday – Mexican
Tuesday – Asian
Wednesday – Italian
Thursday – BBQ
Friday – Mexican
Saturday - Soup, Salad & Sandwiches

General Guidelines:

Is there anything we provide besides food & drinks? 
Yes, we ask groups to provide plastic ware, plates & cups, hinged carry-out containers. 

Do I need to bring my own dishes, knives, and cookware? 
Basic cooking supplies are provided in our kitchen but if you need something special, it’s a good idea to check first.

What should I wear? 
Wear close-toed, rubber sole shoes, hair pulled back. We provide protective gloves.  

What time do we serve the meal? 
Breakfast 7:00-9:00 a.m.
Lunch 12:00-1:30 p.m.
Dinner 6:00-7:30 p.m.

What is the time requirement? 
Arrive at least one hour before the meal, earlier if you feel you need more prep time.
Allow one hour for clean up after the meal.  (Dinner 4:00-8:30 pm; Lunch 11-2:30 pm) 

How many families are we cooking for? 
Approximately 150 to 200 persons. 

What if we cannot afford to feed 200 people? 
We can help partner groups together to offset costs. This not only allows each group to stay within a budget, but also provides more volunteers, which makes it possible to help around the House with other activities at the same time.

Where do I park? 
Parking structure under the House or on the street. We provide a maximum of 10 discounted parking vouchers per group, so carpooling is appreciated. Note that there is no charge to leave the parking structure after 8:30 pm and parking is free on weekends. 

Does the House accept food donations? 
Families have the option to cook for themselves, in case they are at the hospital during mealtime, so we always need canned goods and dry goods for the pantry. View our Kitchen Wish List now.

It’s our first time providing a meal, what if we need help? 
Food Service Staff are available to answer questions and assist with anything your group needs, as well as provide tours of the House.

Have Fun!
Consider doing a themed dinner, especially if you are cooking on a holiday or special occasion like the Olympics, Super Bowl, Halloween or Oscar Night. Staff will assist with setting up our big screen in the dining area for viewing events.  

RMHC-SD Contact:
For more information or to schedule your group, please contact us at 858-598-2442 or via email.