St. Catherine’s Church, in partnership with Martha’s Kitchen in San Jose, serves a hot meal every Monday evening in the Parish Center from 6 to 7 pm. We call it our "Community Supper". Our suppers are open to all who’d like to join us for a good meal and good company. We use our parish's ivolunteer website to organize our volunteers. If you’d like to volunteer, please visit the St. Catherine's ivolunteer website at http://stcatherinechurch.ivolunteer.com/ .
Our Community Suppers at St. Catherine's are part of a non-profit interfaith project to feed the hungry in our community. We partner with Martha’s Kitchen ( http://www.marthas-kitchen.org/ ) to provide the meals. Martha's Kitchen has served over 2,500,000 meals served since 1981.
Martha's Kitchen's address is 311 Willow Street, San Jose, CA 95111.
Martha's Kitchen's phone number is 408-293-6111.
Martha’s Kitchen is on the premises of Sacred Heart Church in San Jose. They provide their own meal service on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 4-5 pm. Their mission is to “feed the hungry with dignity, no questions asked, no judgment made.”
They also serve hot meals at over 20 partner sites in Santa Clara and Merced counties. In Morgan Hill, hot meals are served:
Every Monday at St. Catherine Church, 17400 Peak Ave. from 6-7 pm
Every Tuesday at Advent Lutheran Church, 16870 Murphy Ave. from 5-6 pm
Every Wednesday at United Methodist Church, 17175 Monterey Road from 6-7 pm
Every Thursday at Community Christian Church, 305 West Main Ave. from 6-7 pm
At St. Catherine's we have seven teams of volunteers that host our weekly Community Suppers. Each team is responsible for setting out sandwich board signs on the church property, receiving the food from the Martha's Kitchen delivery van, arranging the dining room area, preparing the food to be served, and serving it. They also clean up, of course!
Each team has a team leader, a sign setup person, some dining room setup people, some kitchen preparation people, and some clean up people. We use the “ivolunteer” system on the parish website to keep track of the volunteer sign ups. To get there, visit http://stcatherinechurch.ivolunteer.com/ and navigate to the ivolunteer page for Community Suppers. Contact Joe and Carol Lillig at firstname.lastname@example.org or Carol at 408-857-4516 if you have any questions.
Here are the responsibilities of each of the team members:
Before Monday, verify that enough of your team members are coming to help (via ivolunteer, if you’d like). Make sure the sign setup person is going to set up the signs Monday morning.
Familiarize yourself with the Safety and Sanitation Guidelines, and insist that the volunteers follow them. The guidelines are in a binder in the Community Supper plastic bins in the parish center kitchen's pantry.
Shortly before Monday at 5 pm, sign out 3 keys from the Parish Office: Parish Center, Parish Center Kitchen, and Accordion Doors. Ask for a copy of the Check-Out List that comes with the keys. Open up the Parish Center and kitchen. NOTE: On Mondays that the Parish Office is closed (Labor Day, MLK Day, President's Day, Cesar Chavez Day, Easter Monday, and Memorial Day), you’ll need to plan ahead and coordinate getting the eys and opening and closing the Parish Center with Deepu Kochuparambil, our Staff Liaison and Youth and Young Adult Minister. Deepu's email address is email@example.com . Feel free to contact Joe or Carol Lillig for help with the keys on holidays.
A van will arrive from Martha's Kitchen shortly before 5 pm with the food for the evening. Help the driver unload the food into the parish kitchen. On the holidays mentioned above, you should talk to Joe and Carol about the timing of the food delivery. We believe Martha's Kitchen has agreed to still deliver the food at 5 pm on these holidays. But we should make sure that is going to happen.
The next thing you must do when you arrive is light the pilot lights on the oven. Feel free to get some help from your team to do this. The instruction binder for lighting the pilot lights is in a drawer under the kitchen counter. You must first turn the gas on to the stove by turning the yellow knob behind the oven to the "on" position: parallel to the pipe it is attached to. You must then light all the pilots for the8 stove top burners, the 2 ovens, and the 2 griddles even though we only use the ovens. Otherwise there will be gas seeping out of the unused pilot lights.
If needed, assist the dining room setup people in arranging the tables and chairs. Then assist the kitchen preparation people as needed.
At 6 pm, lead the volunteers and guests in a short prayer of thanks for our food. Or ask another volunteer or guest to lead the prayer. Then invite everyone to come and be served.
About 6:50 pm, help package up “to go” containers and start giving away leftovers.
At 7 pm, work with the clean up people and other volunteers to begin cleaning up the kitchen and dining room.
Contact Fay Locsin about any paper goods, cleaning supplies, or other items that need to be replenished. You can call or text Fay at her cell phone number: 408-472-8155, or you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Make sure the sandwich board signs get returned to the parish center courtyard.
Turn off the gas to the oven. To do this, turn the yellow knob behind the oven to the up position, at a right angle to the pipe next to it.
Use the Parish Center Check Out List to make sure the Parish Center is left clean and in order. Lock up the parish center kitchen. If there is no one else in the parish center, make sure all its doors are locked up too. If there are other groups still in the parish center when you leave, ask them if they have a key to the parish center. If they do, they can lock up the parish center when they leave. If they do not, you can lock the doors when you leave and they can just close them on their way out. Finally, return the keys and the Check Out List to the Parish Office. Drop them in the mail slot in the door.
Sign Setup Person: (Monday morning between 7 and 10 am)
We have four sturdy plastic sandwich board signs. We need to put them out on Monday morning.
The signs are stored in the patio courtyard of the parish center. They need to be placed in the following locations:
Sign One goes in front of the main parish center entrance. It points toward the side patio gate.
Sign Two goes at the entrance to the parking lot behind the parish center. It points into that parking lot.
Sign Three goes at the main church parking lot entrance. It points down the street toward the entrance to the parking lot behind the parish center.
Sign Four goes in the parking lot behind the parish center, near the parish center courtyard gate. It points toward the courtyard gate. Make sure it can be seen from the street.
In general, the signs should be set up to guide our guests into the parish center's courtyard gate and then into the side doors of the parish center near the kitchen.
If the sign setup person also helps with the dinner that evening, he or she can just collect the four signs at the end of the meal and put the signs back in the courtyard patio for the next week’s meal. If the sign setup person only does the morning part of the job, the team leader should make sure the signs get collected at the end of the meal and get stored on the patio.
Dining Room Set Up People: (5 - 8 pm)
Arrive at the Parish Center Kitchen at 5 pm. The team leader will arrive shortly before 5 pm with the keys to the Parish Center, Kitchen and Accordion Doors. The Community Supper takes place in Parish Center rooms 3 and 4, which are the last two of the four conference rooms in the Parish Center (the two closest to the kitchen). With the team leader, unlock and arrange the accordion doors, as needed, to create one dining room in Conference Rooms 3 and 4. Close the accordion wall between CR 3 and CR 2. (There may be other meetings in Conference Room 1 and 2 during the evening.)
Put up 8 round tables in CR 3 and 4. Put up 8 chairs around each table. (There will normally be 2 round tables with 8 chairs each on them in each of the 4 PC Conference Rooms. You can just pull tables and chairs from CR 1 and 2 into CR 3 and 4 to get the number of tables and chairs you need. If the tables and chairs in CR 1 and 2 are not available, you can get tables and chairs from the storage room near the PC entrance.)
Line up 3 rectangular tables next to each other near the wall by the kitchen to use for serving the food. Wash all the serving tables and the counter under the window with the bleach/water solution in the kitchen. Note: Cleaning supplies and other items needed for the dinner are in plastic bins in the pantry in the kitchen. The Parish Center kitchen key opens the pantry door.
Collect the flyers for other South County services from a folder in one of the plastic bins and arrange them on a table near the entry to the dining area from the courtyard.
There is a CD player with speakers in one of our Community Supper boxes in the pantry. Set it up on the counter under the window and start up the CD player. There a couple of CDs in the CD player already.
Make sure you are familiar with the Safety and Sanitation Guidelines, and help the Kitchen Preparation People as needed.
Kitchen Preparation People: (5 - 8 pm)
Review the Safety and Sanitation Guidelines. The Food Safety and Sanitation Guidelines folder is in one of the plastic bins. Disposable food service gloves and cleaning supplies are also in the bins. There should be some washcloths and towels in the bins too. It might be a good idea to also bring some from home, about 4 washcloths and about 6 kitchen towels. Please take home the washcloths and towels you use and wash them and bring them back again.
The hot food is delivered in foil trays in a "Cambro" that keeps the food hot. The temperature of the hot food must be at least 160 degrees when we serve it. Poke one of our food thermometers through the foil cover of each hot food tray to measure its temperature. If the temperature of the food in all the trays is at least 160 degrees, you can just close the Cambro and leave the food in there until it is served at 6 pm. (Just make sure it stays at at least 160 degrees.) If any of the trays need to be heated up more, take them out and put them in the oven. Warm them in the oven until the food temperature reaches at least 160 degrees as measured by a food thermometer. Keep the food temperature at at least 160 degrees until it is served. There are food thermometers in the plastic bins in the pantry.
The hot food always includes a main entree. It may also include a tray of cooked vegetables. If there are cooked vegetables, keep them warm in the same manner you keep the main entree warm.
Instead of cooked vegetables, you may receive a tray of raw vegetables. This is because we told Martha's Kitchen we prefer to cook the vegetables ourselves when possible. This allows us to serve them freshly prepared. They taste much better this way. If you receive raw vegetables, please boil them or heat them up on the stove top in some cooking oil. We have found that dropping them in boiling water for about 10 minutes works quite well. There are large colanders in the pantry you can use to strain the water from the vegetables when they are ready to serve.
Make decaf coffee for about 25 people in one of the coffeemakers in the kitchen and put it out on the counter. We keep the coffee grounds in the refrigerator. Put a stack of hot cups, creamer, sugar, and stir sticks by the coffee. We try to get this coffee percolating out on the counter as soon as we can. Some of early arriving guests like to enjoy a cup of coffee while they are waiting for dinner.
Use the basin and bleach in the pantry marked “Community Supper” to prepare a bleach solution of 2 gallons of water with 2 Tablespoons of bleach. Rinse all of the serving utensils in the bleach solution in the basin and dry them.
Prepare for serving the food that does not have to be cooked. Check the left side refrigerator (the one closest to the conference rooms) for salad, fruit, dressing, butter, and any other perishable items. Everything in that refrigerator is available for our Community Suppers.
There is usually lettuce and other items for making a salad. Mix all these items in a big serving bowl.
There are usually several types of bread and rolls. Some may need to be sliced into smaller sized pieces for serving. Arrange all the bread and rolls to be served in a large basket.
There are usually several types of desserts. Some may need to be sliced into smaller sized pieces for serving. Place individual servings of desserts on small plates. Put the plates on the rolling carts that are available in the kitchen. They will be rolled out to our guests about 6:10 pm.
Fay Locsin's family almost always delivers a couple of boxes of fresh fruit for our suppers. Arrange the fruit in a couple of big baskets for serving.
Put salt and pepper (from the kitchen cupboards) on each table.
Just before 6 pm, put the food out on the serving tables. Starting at the end of the tables closest to the kitchen door, arrange the food and other items like this:
Plates and silverware
Hot main entree
Bread and rolls
The hot food trays should be set on metal pans. There is salad dressing in the refrigerator. Put it out with the salad. There is also butter in the refrigerator you can set out with the bread and rolls.
Put the knives, forks, spoons, plates and napkins on a tray or in a basket. Use the stainless steel knives, forks, and spoons from the drawers in the parish kitchen. (If there’s time, you can wrap sets of a plastic knife, a fork and a spoon in a paper napkin and tie each set with a ribbon. There is ribbon in the plastic bins.)
Martha's Kitchen may have provided juice and/or milk. Put theses drinks as well as pitchers of ice water at the end of the food service tables. Put stacks of cups out near the drinks.
Clean Up People: (6:30 - 8 pm)
Arrive at approximately 6:30 pm to visit with our guests and help with the packaging up of leftovers to give away.
At 7 pm, work with the other volunteers to start the clean up process.
Start by clearing the dining room of paper goods and food, moving everything to the kitchen.
Throw away any leftover food. Do not leave anything that may spoil during the coming week. Do not leave anything that cannot be securely closed to reduce risk of spills in the refrigerator. Salad dressing, butter, and a few things that can be used again next week may be left in the refrigerator. Make sure to put everything in the refrigerator on the left, the one closest to the door leading out to the conference rooms.
After our company has left, begin moving the tables and chairs. (See “Clean Up” instructions below.)
Sweep and mop the Dining Room. This job goes better and faster with two people working together.
Other volunteers should be cleaning and putting away the dishes and collecting Community Supper supplies to be put back in our plastic bins.
When the dishes are done and the plastic bins are put back on the shelves in the pantry, sweep and mop the kitchen floor and take out the trash.
During the clean up time, write needed items on the Community Supper Shopping List (in the plastic bin) and use the parish Check-Out List to make sure the Parish Center is left clean and in order. The Team Leader should return the keys and the Check-Out List to the Parish Office. If the sandwich board signs are still out, collect them and store them in the courtyard patio.
Here is more information about serving the dinner, cleaning up, and food safety:
Dinner Is Served From 6 - 7 pm
At 6 pm the team leader will say a prayer with everyone and invite our guests to come to the serving tables. Have 3 to 6 people stand behind the serving tables to serve the food. They must be wearing food service gloves.
In general, to follow food safety guidelines, we must serve food and drinks to our guests. They should not serve themselves. The only exceptions are for items that are "self-contained". In our case, our only self-contained items are our coffee pot, our whole fruit, and our plated desserts. Based on discussions with Martha's Kitchen, here is how we should serve our food and drinks:
All of our food and drinks except the coffee and desserts are set up on our serving tables just before 6 pm. Everything on those tables is dished out or poured out by us except the fruit. Our guests can pick out a piece of fruit for themselves.
The coffee pot is set out on the counter under the window. It can be put out at any time, the sooner the better. Our guests can serve themselves.
Our desserts are put on individual trays on rolling carts. We serve them to our guests starting about 6:10 pm. After rolling them around, we can leave the carts out and let our guests take individual plates themselves.
After everyone is served, our guests are welcome to help themselves to more fruit. Of course, they also can come back for more of anything else that we serve to them.
These practices reflect not only our need to adhere to food safety guidelines, but also our desire to treat all our guests in a fair manner. For instance, we must pour drinks for our guests for food safety reasons. But we manage the distribution of our whole fruit and desserts just to make sure everyone has a chance to select something they would like before allowing people to take more.
One or more people can act as a "runner" between the kitchen and the food serving tables, replenishing the hot food trays, bread basket, and salad bowl.
As the evening goes on, if it looks like there will be more than enough food, make up “to go” containers of food for the guests to take home. Give away any leftover bread, desserts, and drinks. Please encourage guests or volunteers to take home leftovers so we don’t have to throw out food. In addition, we sometimes give leftovers to Emma Harris who is in charge of the free meal at the Methodist church on Wednesday nights. Emma gives it to the "Compassion Center" in Gilroy. Emma usually shows up sometime between 6 and 7 pm. Feel free to contact Joe or Carol to help out in this area.
Any volunteers who are not needed to serve should feel free to join the guests at the tables and have a meal themselves if they'd like. Anyone with even a moment of free time is encouraged to sit and chat with our visitors.
If our guests are interested in other services in our area, there are flyers they can take with them on the table near the entry.
Clean Up From 7 - 8 pm
Note: There are people signed up as clean up people but but everyone should assist with clean up. Many hands make light work!
Make sure the ovens are turned off. Shut off the gas supply to the ovens by turning the yellow knob behind the ovens to the "off" position: at a right angle to the pipe it is attached to. An Instruction binder for this is in a drawer underneath the kitchen counter if you need it.
Dispose of foil trays and paper goods in the large kitchen trash cans. Any trash that can be recycled should be put in the recycle bins behind the parish center by the big trash dumpsters.
Wash and dry all the items that belong in the kitchen and put them away.
Clean the Cambro container and leave it in the kitchen near the dishwasher. It will be picked up by Martha's Kitchen the following week.
Re-sanitize the tables and counter with the bleach/water solution.
Leave two round tables in each of the two conference rooms (for a total of 4). Stack 8 folded chairs on each table, in two stacks of four. Put the other 4 round tables in Conference Rooms 1 and 2, 2 in each Conference Room. If there are meetings going on in Conference Rooms 1 and 2, just leave the tables and folded chairs stacked in Conference Rooms 3 and 4. If you got tables and chairs from the storage room near the Parish Center entrance, return them there. If you cannot go through Conference Rooms 1 and 2 to get to the storage area, you can go through the patio to access that storage room. The Parish Center key opens the door to the storage room from the patio.
Empty all trash cans in the Parish Center and kitchen. Put new plastic trash bags in each can. Trash bags are located on the wire drying rack near the kitchen sink.
Break down any cardboard boxes that were used to deliver the food and put them in the cardboard recycling bin in the parking lot behind the kitchen.
Sweep and mop the floor in Conference Rooms 3 and 4 and in the kitchen. A broom should be in the corner of Conference Room 4, and there should be 2 buckets and mops available for your use in the pantry.
Check bathrooms to make sure they are unoccupied and clean.
Collect the sandwich board signs and leave them in the patio. There should be four of them.
Make sure no one is in the building, turn out ALL the lights, and make sure all the windows and doors are locked before you leave.
Food Safety and Sanitation Guidelines
Reducing the spread of bacteria is the key to preventing food related illnesses. Please follow these basic rules when working with food:
Always wash your hands before, during and after handling food. Bacteria can easily be spread with dirty hands. This means you must wash after using the restroom or touching your face or hair. “Cover your coughs” by sneezing or coughing into your elbow, then wash your hands.
Use disposable food service gloves and change them when they get soiled or contaminated. (Contaminated includes shaking hands with someone.) Cover any cuts in addition to using gloves.
If you are sick, do not work with food.
No smoking, eating, or drinking is allowed in the kitchen area.
Examine the food:
Watch out for infestation, damaged, or spoiled food.
Watch out for odd appearances, smells, or discoloration.
Do not handle or save moldy food.
Watch for severely dented, bulging, or leaking cans, and ripped or broken packages.
Food that has been contaminated should be thrown away. When in doubt, throw it out!
Clean spills immediately to prevent falls.
Work only on clean surfaces, with clean hands and clean utensils.
Store all cleaning supplies away from food supplies.
If guests take home food, remind them to get it home quickly and store it properly.
Do not keep raw perishable foods that have been out at room temperature for more than two hours.
Community Supper Tasks Checklist
Here is a checklist you can use on Monday evening to help you remember what to do.
5:00 Dining room set up & food prep
___ Turn on gas to stove & light all pilots.
___ Turn on ovens and transfer food from Cambro to ovens if necessary.
___ Start heating cooked part of meal to 160 degrees (so it is ready by 6 pm).
___ Close accordion doors in middle of room.
___ Check floor. Sweep & mop if necessary.
___ Put up 8 tables, 8 chairs each.
___ Put up 3 long table along wall near kitchen.
___ Wash serving tables, counter under window, and round tables with bleach water.
___ Rinse all serving utensils in bleach solution.
___ Put salad in bowl with tongs.
___ Set out butter.
___ Put out knives, forks, spoon, plates, napkins. If time permits wrap sets of utensils with napkins & tie with ribbon.
___ Put desserts on individual plates.
___ Put out juice and/or milk & pitchers of ice water, cups & napkins.
___ Put salt & pepper on each table.
___ Make decaf coffee. Put out hot cups, creamer, sugar & stirrers
6:00 Meal time
___ Put out hot food trays.
___ Replenish as needed.
___ Visit with guests if everything is done.
___ When guests are finished, if there is left over food distribute in takeout containers.
7:00 Clean up
___ Turn off gas to stove.
___ Open accordion doors.
___ Check bathrooms to make sure they are unoccupied and clean.
___ Collect the sandwich board signs and leave them in the patio.
___ Clear dining room of paper goods & food.
___ Throw away any leftover food except salad dressing, butter & a few things that can be used the next week.
___ Re-sanitize tables and counters.
___ Return tables and chairs. There should be 2 round tables in each conference room with 8 chairs in 2 stacks of 4.
___ Empty trash cans in parish center and kitchen.
___ Break down cardboard boxes and put in recycling bin.
___ Sweep conference room and kitchen.
___ Mop conference room and kitchen.
___ Turn off all lights and make sure all the windows and doors are locked. If there is nothing else going on in the center make sure no one is in the building.
___ Return keys and parish form to rectory.