volunteers serving dinner

Mountain View Family Shelter set to welcome back volunteers

The Mountain View Family Shelter is pleased to announce that volunteers will be welcomed back onto the property. In the past, volunteers have provided a crucial service by providing and serving meals for families at the shelter. Policies and procedures that emphasize safety and respect for the pandemic have been put in place that will allow these events to resume.

“We are excited to welcome back volunteers at our family shelter,” volunteer coordinator Yareth Rodriguez said. “We missed all of you so much, and we are grateful for your time and patience.”

Dinner is served at 6 pm. Volunteers are welcome to arrive as early as 4 pm to begin meal preparation and will be screened for exposure to COVID-19 upon entry. All volunteers must wear masks at all times and practice social distancing whenever possible. We encourage the preparation of healthy, balanced meals that are friendly to both families and children. Please review the Sign-Up Genius calendar to make sure your group is serving a meal that no one else is serving that week, or reach out via the email address and phone number at the bottom of this page to confirm the meal and number of participants that will be served.

Volunteer groups are limited to a maximum of four people, and groups are encouraged to bring disposable plates, cups, cutlery, napkins, juice/milk, and a dessert in addition to the food needed to prepare dinner. All food must be prepared on-site, or in a verifiable certified commercial kitchen off-site and transported so that food maintains constant temperature. Food prepared in non-certified facilities, such as home kitchens and organization kitchens without Contra Costa County Environmental Health Department Certification, cannot be served to participants at the shelter due to Health Department regulations. This includes cookies and cakes, which many groups like to provide as dessert.

Food purchased at commercial restaurants and stores is always acceptable, as their facilities are inspected. In addition to masks, gloves and hair restraints must also be worn when handling food, and food handling and CDC guidelines must be strictly followed at all times.

“We have missed all of our volunteers so much during the pandemic,” shelter supervisor Lynna Magnuson said. “While we appreciate the donations received during this difficult time to help us feed our participants, there is no substitute for the smiling faces and caring, in-person service to our participants and the facility itself. Welcome back!”

Those who volunteer should be ready to speak after the meal about your group, why you volunteer, or about other concepts focusing on encouragement and hope. In addition, a commitment to maintain confidentiality concerning the people we serve is a must.

Contact Lynna at 925-408-2119 or Lynna.Magnuson@shelterinc.org for more information, including how to sign up for a shift in the kitchen.

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