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Cooks for Kids

Volunteer Meal Programs at Ronald McDonald House

Fun, flexible group volunteer opportunities for friends, families and co-workers Returning CFK Volunteer? Click HERE 

Cooks for Kids

NOTICE: Ronald McDonald House Charities, Upper Midwest (RMHC-UM) will pause Cooks for Kids volunteers in response to COVID-19 until April 13, 2020. During this time, we are committed to continue to serve the same number of daily complimentary meals to over 300 individuals - family members of seriously ill or injured children – across our four Twin Cities locations. We are asking for community support in the form of financial and in-kind donations in order to fulfill our commitment of providing meals seven days a week, despite the restriction on volunteer activities. DONATE HERE

Our cornerstone meal program, the Cooks for Kids (CFK) program, offers volunteer groups a fun and impactful way to support families with a seriously-ill or injured child. Groups ranging in size from 3 – 15, depending on location, purchase, prepare and serve a buffet-style meal of their choice.

“The meals prepared by volunteers nourished our souls in the way only food prepared with love can." – Parent of a child hospitalized at Children's, Minneapolis

New to the Cooks for Kids program? Here's how to get started...

  1. Gather a group of friends, family, colleagues, etc.
  2. Depending on the size of your group, choose your location.
  3. Check that location’s meal calendar and register for an open meal date.
  4. Decide on a menu and purchase ingredients.
  5. Roll up your sleeves and prepare and serve a meal to appreciative families!

Still have questions? Contact:

Robin Bridge

Group Volunteer Coordinator

Email

 612.767.2795

Our Four Locations


RMH-Oak Street kitchen

Ronald McDonald House – Oak Street

 near the U of MN East Bank Campus
621 Oak St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414

 Meal Calendar & Registration

  • 10–15 volunteers
  • 50–60 served at weeknight dinner
  • 30–40 served on weekends

Parking and arrival instructions

HIH kitchen for CFK

Ronald McDonald House – Children's Minnesota, Minneapolis

 On the hospital's third floor
2525 Chicago Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404

 Meal Calendar & Registration

  • 8–10 volunteers
  • 125–150 served at weeknight dinner
  • 60–70 served on weekends

Parking and arrival instructions

CFK kitchen at Gillette

Ronald McDonald Family Room–Gillette, St. Paul

  Inside Regions Hospital
640 Jackson St
St. Paul, MN 55101

 Meal Calendar & Registration

  • 3–6 volunteers
  • 40–50 served at weeknight dinner
  • 35–40 served on weekends

Parking and arrival instructions

CFK kitchen at Childrens St Paul

Ronald McDonald Family Room–Children's Minnesota, St. Paul

 Adjacent to United Hospital
345 North Smith Avenue
River Tower 3rd floor
St. Paul, MN 55101

 Meal Calendar & Registration

  • 3–6 volunteers
  • 50–60 served at dinner
  • 35–40 served on weekends

Parking and arrival instructions

Our Kitchen Set-up

Our kitchens are fully stocked with everything you’ll need to prepare a meal, including pots and pans, mixing bowls, Crockpots, blenders, cooking utensils, cutting boards, baking sheets, measuring cups and spoons, plates and cups, silverware, etc. Feel free to contact your chosen location to inquire about the number of ovens and stoves that site has, as well as the supply of condiments and staples you may be able to use. Note that RMH-Oak Street has two gas grills; the three hospital-based sites do not have grills.

Main desk phone numbers for each location:

  • RMH-Oak Street: 612.331.5752
  • RMH, Children’s Minnesota, Minneapolis:  612.874.4800
  • RMFR, Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, St. Paul:  651.726.2820
  • RMFR, Children’s Minnesota, St. Paul:  651.220.5160

CFK Volunteer Group Resource Center

Cooks for Kids Menu Submission

Please provide us with your planned menu below.

 

Need ideas?

 Our AllRecipes Page

Commitment Policy

Families consistently tell us that complimentary meals are the one thing they appreciate most about the Ronald McDonald House. To ensure we fulfill our promise of providing dinner every night and brunch on weekends, please review our Commitment Policy.

Meal groups that are unable to provide a committed meal with less than 14 days’ notice will be asked to do one of the following:
• Provide for a catered meal to be delivered to the site
• Donate $300-$500, depending on site, to cover the cost of a meal
• Immediately sign up for an urgently needed meal at one of our four sites

Confirmed menus at each RMH location

Check out what other groups are serving close to your date

Ronald McDonald House–Oak Street


Ronald McDonald House inside Children's Minnesota, Minneapolis


 

Ronald McDonald Family Room inside Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare, St. Paul


 

Ronald McDonald Family Room–Children's Minnesota, St. Paul


 

Parking and Arrival Intructions


Ronald McDonald House–Oak Street

  • Parking is available in our two on-site lots: the administrative lot off Fulton Street SE via Kelsey Lane (alley) and the back lot on Ontario Street SE, which is a one-way street accessible via the East River Parkway.
  • If both RMH parking lots are full, meter parking may be available on Fulton Street; in addition, one hour parking available may be available on Ontario Street. The administrative parking lot often has openings after 5pm, so volunteers may be able to move their cars at that time.
  • Note: RMH-Oak Street is located adjacent to the University of Minnesota’s busy east bank campus, where parking can be a challenge, so we strongly encourage carpooling.
  • Arrival instructions: All house doors are locked, so upon arrival use the call box to identify yourself/your group. RMH staff will unlock the door and direct you to the Program Office to check in.
  • If you are dropping off food: Pull into the semi-circle driveway at 621 Oak St SE, temporarily park your car, and use the call box to announce your arrival. A staff member will give you a cart to transport food to the CFK kitchen. After unloading your food, proceed to one of two RMH parking lots or street parking to park your car.
  • If you arrive after 5pm: The administrative office closes at 5pm so you will not be able to enter the building via that door. Please enter the building via the Ontario parking lot door or the main front door located at 621 Oak Street SE.

Ronald McDonald House inside Children's Minnesota, Minneapolis

  • If you are dropping off food: Pull into the front roundabout of Children’s Hospital (2525 Chicago Avenue South), temporarily park your vehicle, enter the hospital and stop at the Welcome Desk to get a Visitor’s badge (note: you will need a valid ID) and the RMH cart found adjacent to the Welcome Desk. Load your food on to the cart and have someone in your group bring it to RMH on the 3rd floor of the hospital while you park your car. After parking, proceed to RMH on the 3rd floor. Parking is available in both ramps attached to the hospital (Blue/Green ramps).
  • If you are not dropping off food but are part of the meal group: Park your car and proceed to the 2nd floor Welcome Desk to get a Visitor’s badge (note: you will need a valid ID). Take the elevator to the 3rd floor where the Ronald McDonald House is located. If you have not pre-registered, you will be asked to register in our volunteer database system upon arrival at RMH. This process takes about five minutes.
  • Parking vouchers will be provided to all volunteers.

Ronald McDonald Family Room inside Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare, St. Paul

  • Drive to the Regions Hospital/Gillette West Parking Ramp at 640 Jackson St., St. Paul 55101.
  • Proceed to Level D (the Gillette Entrance) and temporarily park your car(s) in the Valet Parking area.
  • Enter the hospital, proceed to the right and follow signs to the Ronald McDonald Family Room to retrieve a cart to transport your food.
  • Park your car in a permanent space after delivering your food to our facility.
  • Parking vouchers will be provided to all volunteers.
 

Ronald McDonald Family Room–Children's Minnesota, St. Paul

  • If you are dropping off food: Pull into the roundabout at the Mother Baby Center (345 N. Smith Ave). You may leave your car there for 10-15 minutes. Sign in at the Welcome Center (note: you will need a valid ID). Unload your food on the provided cart and proceed to the 3rd floor of the River Tower, where the Ronald McDonald Family Room is located. Return to your car and park in the Red ramp.
  • If you are not dropping off food but are part of the meal group: Park your car in the Red ramp just off the roundabout at the Mother Baby Center. Take the Red Ramp elevators to the 2nd floor. Turn right outside of the elevator and proceed to the Welcome Center where you’ll sign in (valid ID required). Tell staff you are here for the Ronald McDonald Family Room and they will direct you to the River Tower elevators. Proceed to the 3rd floor and turn left upon exiting the elevator.
  • Parking vouchers will be provided to all volunteers.

Other Meal Programs at the Ronald McDonald House

CFK During the Day

We do the prep work to ensure your work team has a meaningful volunteer experience during the business day
Participation fee: $500 or $1,000

  • You choose the menu from the CFK During the Day menu collection and prepare a meal to be served later that day
  • We order the ingredients, set up the kitchens and handle final prep, serving and clean up
  • Available 11am – 3pm, Monday – Friday
  • Participation fee includes recipes, ingredients and kitchen set-up plus an impactful team-building activity:
    $1,000 for up to 15 participants at either Ronald McDonald House location in Minneapolis
    $500 for up to 6 participants at either Ronald McDonald House location in St. Paul
  • Email Robin to register

Team Cuisine

It’s a cooking class with a heart!
Participation fee: $2,000 – 2,500

  • Your group of 10-15 people prepare a multi-course meal under the direction of a prominent Twin Cities chef
  • We provide the ingredients and recipes
  • You enjoy the meal after serving the families
  • Available select Monday evenings. Email Julie for more information.

Lunch Bunch

An ideal way to get acquainted with the families, schoolkids and staff at RMH – Oak Street!
Participation fee: $500

  • You choose the menu from the Lunch Bunch menu collection and prepare a buffet-style lunch
  • We order the ingredients and set up the kitchens
  • Available 10am – 1:30pm, Monday - Friday at RMH – Oak Street
  • Email Robin to register

Dinner in A Pinch

A last-minute opportunity to save the day!
Approximate cost: $150 - $500, depending on location

  • You provide a take-out or delivery meal on an open meal date
  • We handle serving and clean up
  • Cost dependent upon Ronald McDonald House location selected
  • Email Jacob to register

Just Come Serve

Help us out by serving a meal provided by another group
No charge

  • You serve the meal and handle clean-up
  • We provide all meal components, so there’s no cost to you
  • You get to experience a meaningful way to support families
  • Perfect for individual volunteers or small groups of friends
  • Click here to register