IFFP Volunteers Needed 3rd Saturday of the month: IFFP is in charge of providing a dinner every 3rd Saturday of the month for residents. Having 2-3 family volunteer for each month would be ideal. Sign up below.
Where: Luther Place Memorial Church. 1226 Vermont Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20005. Come up the steps next to the wheel chair ramp, push the large middle silver button and then push 217 or 216 to get in. Someone will ask you your name; just let them know you are the dinner volunteer. If you would like to use the elevator let the person on the phone know. Go to the fourth floor. Arrive about 6:00pm so you have enough time to prep the food and serve it at 7:00pm. Most meals and cleanup will be finished by 8:00pm, but if you plan to stay and eat with the ladies, you might plan for an additional half hour.
Planning a meal: Sue Katz-Miller provided the following helpful suggestions, having done it many times before: Two or three families plan the menu (by email) and split up responsibility. For instance: one family does salad and rolls, one family does spinach quiche and brownies, one family does roasted chicken thighs and watermelon. The families prepare the food at home (involving the children who are too young to come and serve). Then, one/two adults and one/two older kids from each family (max three adults, three kids) either meet at Luther Place or carpool and set up the meal, serve the meal, eat and clean up together. Cooking together would probably be wonderful and should be held up as a possibility but would involve a larger time and travel commitment. In a pinch, the fallback has been bags of salad, store-bought rolls and cookies, fruit, store-bought rotisserie chickens, frozen mac and cheese made less fatty by stretching with plain boiled pasta. More ambitious things we have done successfully: matzoh ball soup (women had no idea what it was but loved it), veggie/egg type casseroles, and homemade rolls.
New in 2017-2018: The Night shelter is going to transition out in Fall 2018. N Street is committed to finding housing for all the residents before they transition. There are between 10-15 residents to serve, a smaller number than in past years.
Ordering Takeout: We woud like to prepare homemade meals on the 3rd Saturday of every month. From time to time, IFFP members cannot make this happen. In this case, we have been told that Chinese food is a treat and that pizza delivery is also an alternative.
To order Chinese food:
Great Wall Szechuan House 1527 14th St NW Washington, DC 20005 (202) 797-8888
A sample menu would be 2 large fried rice, 2 large vegetable dishes (Vegetable combo, Garlic broccoli, String beans), 2-3 large meat dishes (General Tso's Chicken, Szechuan Chicken, Chicken or Beef with Broccoli). The delivery person should go to 1226 Vermont Ave and can call the shelter staff office at (202) 387-5464. Staff are in the office from 3-11 pm.
To order pizza:
Domino’s is right down the street from the church located on 1300 L Street, NW. Their phone number is (202) 639-8700. This may be the best option location-wise, and other volunteers have ordered from there in the past with no issues.
Pizza Preferences - 6 pizzas – 2 pepperoni, 2 plain cheese, and 2 veggie.
Instructions for delivery - Dinner is at 7 pm, so it may be good to have them delivered no later than 6:45 pm in order to leave some time for prep. The shelter address is 1226 Vermont Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20005. The building is secured so when the delivery person arrives, they can call the office (202) 387-5464 so staff can meet them downstairs.
When asked, the women suggested the following as dinner possibilities for homemade meals:
- Tacos, meatloaf or something else with ground turkey
- Non red meat entrees
- Baked fish
- Green beans
- Cooked broccoli or cauliflower
- Mac n cheese
- Fried okra
- Salad with onions on the side
- French, blue cheese, or honey mustard dressing
- Fruit- oranges, bananas, grapes
- Soft bread
- Non tomato-based sauces if possible
1) Plan to have dinner with the women after you have finished serving.
2) Plan a vegetarian option. Vegetarian quiche was very popular.
3) Expect salad to be a popular option so be sure to have plenty.
4) Keep the menu simple/efficient (add the volunteers and a staff person or two to your estimate of the food needed). Mark your leftovers with the item description and date, so they can be refrigerated and used later by the shelter.
5) Be prepared for folks to decline things like tomatoes, nuts, bleu cheese and/or maybe offer them on the side.
6) With respect to dessert, consider having a non-chocolate option available (e.g., brownies and lemon bars).
7) Fresh fruit makes a nice addition to dinner.
8) Ask someone who has done this before for menu ideas that worked well and how to estimate portions to feed 30+ people. Last month's volunteers would be a great source of information.
9) Be sure to exchange cell phone numbers with families that are serving on the same night, just in case.
Important Note: Participating families should return to the sign up page to view other families that are volunteering, so that you can coordinate. If you have any problems, contact [email protected]
About children: Children are welcome to serve with their parents, but must be under parental supervision. It is your discretion whether your child(ren) are at an appropriate age to volunteer. If not, you can always have them experience community service by assisting you in meal preparation at home.
Background on N Street and Luther Place Memorial Church: N Street Village is a non-profit social services organization in Washington, DC that provides services to meet the needs of homeless and extremely low-income women as they move to stable housing and maximum self-sufficiency. NSV was founded in 1973 by Luther Place Memorial Church in response to the explosion of the homeless population after the deinstitutionalization of chronically mentally ill patients. Every day of the year, N Street Village provides food, clothing, showers, transitional and permanent housing, mental and physical health care and support for women to re-enter the workforce. N Street Village serves nearly 800 women each year; this is 1/3 of the population of homeless women in DC. With a staff of 45 people, N Street Village is aided by more than 300 volunteers each year.
Luther Place Memorial Church 1226 Vermont Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20005