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Small green cabin on the ocean water. Forests and mountains in the background.

Some like to cook. Some are in need of a good meal. Highlands puts them together, forming a partnership with other organizations that share a common goal for a kinder, more equitable community.

Saturday Lunch

The Saturday Lunch Feeding Ministry provides a healthy, abundant meal every Saturday at 1:00 pm at the North Shore Neighbourhood House, 2nd Street and St. Georges in Lower Lonsdale, North Vancouver. Each week we serve up to 50 guests. You can help by:

  • being one of the three cooks, from 10:30 am to 1:00 pm
  • being one of the four or five server/greeters, from 12:20 to 2:30 pm

If you want to help, contact Kumu Navaratnam or check out the volunteer schedule.

Volunteer Schedule

Job Descriptions for Highlands United Church
North Shore Neighbourhood House
225 East 2nd Street, North Vancouver 

All volunteers are asked to check the Volunteer Schedule then, contact Kumu Navaratnam to sign up.  We hope all volunteer positions are filled a full month in advance. A reminder will sent out during the week prior to your duty Saturday. 


  • Plans the menu.
  • Checks Saturday Lunch refrigerator and cupboard to see what needs to be bought.
  • Does the shopping.
  • Arrives at the venue by10:30 am to direct other cooks.
  • Assures that Food Safe practices are followed by the team.
  • May prepare the trolley with dishes and food for 12:30, if there is time.
  • Prepares 5 pots of coffee.
  • Returns food bins to the church or designates someone else to do this.  All bins, including salt and peppers are returned to Highlands.  The only things we store at North Shore Neighbourhood House are 40 bowls, 40 side plates, 40 soup spoons and bottles of Quat (disinfectant).  These are in a small, unlocked cupboard in the kitchen.  We use NSNH’s cups.
  • Overlaps with Head Sever/Greeter, staying until all the food, dishes and cutlery are in the Marcino Room and the kitchen is tidied and ready for washing of lunch dishes.
  • Arranges with Head Server-Greeter as to which of them will send the weekly message to the volunteer team.  The report includes the names of the volunteers, the menu, the number of guests, and any happy or difficult occurrences during lunch.
  • Submits bills to Dave Thomas, who is tracking our costs.

COOKS    (2)

  • Arrive at the venue by 10:30
  • Prepare the meal to be served under the direction of the Head Cook.
  • Clean the kitchen so that it is ready for Server-Greeters to do dishes.
  • Transport dishes and prepared meal to serving room.
  • Are usually able to leave by 12:45


  • Arrives at the venue at approximately 12:15pm.
  • Loads the trolley with bowls, plates, cups, spoons and food.
  • Disinfects the counter surfaces we use in the Marcino Room.
  • Directs the server/greeter team to set up the dining room just after 12:30pm. This includes: putting all furniture against the walls, setting out 8 guest tables and one serving table, placing 48 chairs, putting on table cloths, setting the tables with plates, spoons and napkins, putting soup bowls on serving table, setting out cups for juice near the main serving table and coffee cups for coffee on the tables near the entrance door, placing sandwiches, fruit, cookies and juice on the counter behind the serving table..
  • Assures the room is ready and the food ready to serve, before opening the door at 1:00pm and inviting guests to be seated.
  • Directs the Server-Greeter team in serving the meal, anticipating guests’ needs. Because some of our guests hoard food, the Head Server-Greeter will designate 1 or 2 specific people to serve sandwiches, or hotdogs/tuna melts, fruit etc so that our guests don’t ask each server-greeter for the same thing.
  • Is aware of new guests arriving and greets them or designates someone else to be the greeter.  In general, should not be serving behind the table.
  • No earlier than 1:40, directs Server-Greeter team to offer any extra food as “take-away” for the guests. Our aim is to have no left-over food, but we want to be sure there is food for those who may arrive late.
  • Directs the clean-up of the dining room and transport of dirty dishes to the kitchen.
  • Does a sweep of the washrooms on the lower and upper floors to assure our guests have left the building.
  • Works with John McDonald in the washing and sterilizing of the dishes.  Usually 3 people are enough to wash and put away the dishes, so the head server-greeter usually dismisses some of the SG team about 2:15pm.
  • In the case of an altercation amongst guests, is responsible to deal with it or to call 911 and ask for police assistance. If the difficulty involves a member of the First Nations, call the integrated First Nations Unit of the North Vancouver detachment of the  RCMP at 604-985-1311
  • Checks out with the NSNH Maintenance man on duty, whose cell phone number is posted in the corridor leading to the kitchen. The Head Server-Greeter is the last person to leave NSNH along with at least one dish washer.  NSNH directors would like us out of the kitchen by 2:30, if possible, so the maintenance man can wash the kitchen floor before he goes off duty at 3:00pm
  • Transports any remaining bins back to the church or designates someone to do this.
  • Arranges with Head Cook as to who will send the weekly report to the Saturday Lunch Team.


  • Arrive at the kitchen at approximately 12:15
  • Assist in transporting dishes and food from the kitchen to the Marcino Room on the Lower Floor via the elevator.
  • Set up the room, tables and serving tables.
  • Serve the guests.  Usually one server needs to be behind the serving table.  The others take soup to tables, then serve sandwiches, hotdogs or tuna melts, and later fruit and cookies as directed by the Head Server-Greeter.
  • Collect dishes after the meal for transport to the kitchen.
  • Do the cleanup of the dining room by stacking dirty dishes in the bins on the trolley, spraying all table cloths with quat (disinfectant) and drying with paper towels before folding and returning them to the bin, quat all counters, wipe up spills, return tables to cupboard, stack chairs on the chair dollies.
  • Take dishes to kitchen and be prepared to help with putting clean dishes away.
  • Cooks and Server-Greeters should anticipate spending about two and a quarter hours for their jobs; the cooks from 10:30- about 12:45, server/greeters from 12:15-2:30. Many Head cooks stay from 10:30 until clean-up time.

 If you are unable to work on your scheduled day, please try to switch with another volunteer and let Kumu, the head cook or the head server-greeter know as early as possible that you are unable to come.

 Thank you for being part of the SATURDAY LUNCH team!


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Saturday Lunch Lead Cook’s Checklist

Stored in locked cupboard at NSNH

  • Envelope containing our health permit, photocopies of people with Food Safe, the labels for any “take-away food”
  • 36 bowls
  • 36 spoons
  • 3 salt, 3 pepper
  • 1 spray bottle of 1% bleach

Stored in 2 storage bins kept at the church in the electrical room near the large kitchen or passed on Sunday from one head cook to next. You may have to restock the bins from the supply cupboard in the large kitchen, or you may have to purchase items.

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Sugar
  • Stir sticks
  • 50 Napkins
  • 20 Paper cups and lids
  • 20 Styro cups
  • 6 plastic table cloths
  • 1 bleach spray bottle
  • note that tells about food stored in refrigerator crisper at NSNH (eg. mayonnaise)
  • rubber gloves
  • grocery bags (for guests to take away food)
  • containers for left overs
  • sandwich bags
  • soup ingredients
  • extra cans of soup

Items from shopping list

  • 1 L milk
  • diced tomatoes
  • red kidney beans chicken broth base
  • Italian spices
  • potatoes
  • carrots
  • onions
  • celery
  • ground beef
  • pasta
  • apples
  • oranges
  • bananas
  • other fruit
  • cookies
  • cheese & crackers OR bread and sandwich fillings

Bring from home

  • Apron, dish cloths, dish towels
  • Chopping knives
  • peeler
  • Can opener
  • 1 cup measure
  • measuring spoons
  • Optional- food processor or be ready to chop onions!

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Soup Recipe

Basic Soup recipe to serve 8

  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1 large potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1, 19oz can of diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 3 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 6 cups of water or chicken stock*
  • 3/4 cup small pasta
  • 1 tsp. dried Italian spices
  • 1, 19oz can red kidney beans, drained
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped(optional)
  • 1/3 cup parmesan
  • Salt and pepper

*Add 1/2 cup of dried chicken soup mix to the water

3X the Soup Recipe serves 20 generously

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 3 large potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 large onions, diced
  • 3-5 large carrots, diced
  • 3-5 stalks celery, diced
  • 2, 28oz cans of diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 9 cloves garlic, diced
  • 18 cups of water or chicken stock*
  • 2 1/2 cups small pasta
  • 3 tsp. Italian spices
  • 3, 19oz cans red kidney beans. drained
  • 1 1/2 cups of parsley, chopped, (optional)
  • 1 cup Parmesan
  • Salt and pepper

*Add 1 1/2 cups of dried chicken soup mix to the water

Cooking Instructions

  1. Put the water in a large pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Add chicken soup mix, spices, and vegetables
  3. In a large fry pan, cook the meat until browned.
  4. Drain the fat.
  5. Add onions and garlic and cook for 3 minutes.
  6. Add to the soup.
  7. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  8. Add pasta and kidney beans 15 minutes before serving time.
  9. Simmer

Guests will add their own parmesan cheese. If there are vegetarians, we could brown the meat separately and only add the meat to the soup mix after we’ve taken out a few vegetarian portions. I have also added about 1 pound of frozen corn niblets to the soup.

There is a Lead Cook’s check list. When you’re checking the bins for what needs replacing, have the recipe and check list on hand.

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