Meals From The Heart


Give our Families a Taste of Home

Having a child in the hospital can be challenging for any family.  Cooking a meal for themselves is the last thing they want to think about after sitting by their child’s bedside all day.  Coming home to a home cooked meal is something our families greatly appreciate.  When you’re serving a meal, you get to experience the togetherness of our House and the thankfulness of our families.

Hosting a meal is not only a fun way to give back, it’s a fantastic bonding experience for any group!  Bring your friends, family, co-workers, church groups, or community group and be what makes our House a Home.  Here is how it works:

STEP 1:  Review the Guidelines
STEP 2:  Check the Calendar for Availability.
STEP 3:  Submit the Online Request Form.
STEP 4:  Take a Tour of the House & kitchen.
STEP 5:  Serve a Meal for our Families!

STEP 1: Guidelines

  • When can we serve a meal?  The calendar below will show you what meals have already been reserved.   We limit volunteer made meals to a maximum of two per day.
  • How many people are we cooking for?  We always have 18 families staying at our House, which is an average of about 35 people.  If your group wishes to stay and eat too, please factor this into your planning.
  • What time do we serve the meal?  Breakfast is served at 8:00am, Lunch at 1:00pm, Dinner at 6:00pm.  Your group and meal will be listed on our Activities Calendar which our families check every day.  Our families are thankful for and look forward to the volunteer made meals, so if you must cancel within 48 hours of your scheduled date please notify us immediately at 559-447-6770.
  • What is the time requirement?  Total time averages about three hours.  To start preparing your meal you may come as early as 6:00am for breakfast, 11:00am for lunch, and 4:00pm for dinner.  We ask that you do not arrive any earlier.  Please allot about one hour for clean-up.
  • How many volunteers does my group need and what are the age limits?  The menu you decide on will determine how many people you need.  The maximum group size is 13 people.  This can be a lot of people in the kitchen so you may consider staggering arrival times.  Age limits are as follows: 18+ years old and 8-17 years old with adult supervision.
  • Do I bring my own pots, pans, and utensils?  Our kitchen is fully stocked with 3 ovens, 2 ranges, pots, pans, utensils, dishware, flatware, and cups.  Please see the Front Desk when you arrive to check-out a block of kitchen knives.  You may bring your own kitchen tools and equipment if you wish, but make sure to take them when you leave.  We are not responsible for any tools, equipment, or personal items left behind.
  • Besides the food & beverages, what else do we bring?  Please bring paper napkins.  You may bring disposable flatware, dishware, and cups, if you do not want to wash ours.  Alcoholic beverages are NOT permitted.
  • What should we cook?  Your meal may be as simple or elaborate as you wish.  We have no food restrictions so you may provide any menu of your choice.  If you’re not sure what to make, check out these helpful MEAL IDEAS!   If you wish to use our BBQ grill, please give us at least four days’ notice so we may ensure the propane is full.
  • What are the dress code and food safety requirements?  Participants must wear closed-toe and rubber-soled shoes, and hair must be pulled back.  All participants are required to wear gloves (provided) and review the food safety information (emailed to the group leader/facilitator).
  • Can I prepare food at home and bring it in?  We require any raw products (meats, fruits, vegetables, etc.) to be prepared in our kitchens.  There are a few exceptions such as baked goods, meals catered by a restaurant, pre-made food from grocery stores (ex: sandwich tray), and food prepared in health department approved kitchens (some churches and schools).
  • Where do I park?  Parking is not designated with the exception of disabled parking.
  • It’s our first time providing a meal. What if we need help?  These House & Kitchen Notes are a useful tool for your group members to review in advance and bring with you.  You will also be asked to complete the Gift-in-Kind form, which you may print and complete in advance if you wish.   A staff member will be on duty at the Front Desk to answer questions and assist with anything your group needs.
  • Can we take pictures during our service?  Yes, you are welcome to take group photos and pictures of your group in action.  To respect the privacy of our families we ask that you do not take pictures of them.  If you do take pictures of your group, please email them to  You may be featured on our social media!  Find us by searching for RMHCcenvalley on Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter!
  • How do the families know we are making a meal?  Every scheduled meal is posted in our lobby on the Activities Monitor.  You are encouraged to get creative and make a flyer we can distribute to all the families in advance.  Please make sure to email the flyer at least four days before your scheduled date to  Make sure to include the date, which meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner), your menu, your groups name and logo (if applicable).  We prefer the file to be in an editable format (Microsoft Word, Publisher, etc.).
  • Does the RMHC accept food donations?  Yes, we are always in need of canned and dry goods, as well as basic everyday household items (toilet paper, laundry soap, etc.). We have a Wish List available with our most needed items.

STEP 2: Calendar 
Please use the calendar below to help identify a date for your group to host a meal.  Meals are limited to a maximum of two per day.  Click the arrows to view upcoming months.

STEP 3: Request Form

  • Please enter the name you wish to be posted on our Activities & Meal Calendars online and at the House. Examples: The Smith Family, XYZ Company, XYZ Community Church, XYZ School
  • Please enter a value between 1 and 15.
  • If you already know your menu you make write it here (entree, side dishes, dessert, beverages).
  • By clicking 'Submit' you acknowledge you have read, understand, and agree to follow the steps and guidelines of the Serve A Meal program. If you do not receive an email within 72 hours confirming your request, please call 559-261-3667.

Have a Question or Issue? Please contact the Volunteer Coordinator, Sven Hamilton, at 559-261-3667 or

Thank you to:

for providing our Kitchens with “To Go” Containers for the meals our volunteers provide for our families!