N Street Village Meal

IFFP Volunteers Needed 3rd Saturday of the month:  IFFP is in charge of providing a dinner every 3rd Saturday of the month for the 30 residents.  Having 2-3 families volunteer for each month would be ideal.  Sign up HERE.

Where:  Luther Place Memorial Church.  1226 Vermont Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20005.  Come up the steps next to the wheel chair ramp, push the large middle silver button and then push 217 or 216 to get in. Someone will ask you your name; just let them know you are the dinner volunteer.  If you would like to use the elevator let the person on the phone know. Go to the fourth floor. Arrive about 6:00pm so you have enough time to prep the food and serve it at 7:00pm.  Most meals and cleanup will be finished by 8:00pm, but if you plan to stay and eat with the ladies, you might plan for an additional half hour.

Planning a meal:  Sue Katz-Miller provided the following helpful suggestions, having done it many times before: Two or three families plan the menu (by email) and split up responsibility. For instance: one family does salad and rolls, one family does spinach quiche and brownies, one family does roasted chicken thighs and watermelon. The families prepare the food at home (involving the children who are too young to come and serve). Then, one/two adults and one/two older kids from each family (max three adults, three kids) either meet at Luther Place or carpool and set up the meal, serve the meal, eat and clean up together. Cooking together would probably be wonderful and should be held up as a possibility but would involve a larger time and travel commitment.  In a pinch, the fallback has been bags of salad, store-bought rolls and cookies, fruit, store-bought rotisserie chickens, frozen mac and cheese made less fatty by stretching with plain boiled pasta. More ambitious things we have done successfully: matzoh ball soup (women had no idea what it was but loved it), veggie/egg type casseroles, and homemade rolls.

When asked, the women suggested the following as dinner possibilities:

Tacos, meatloaf or something else with ground turkey
Non red meat entrees
Baked fish
Green beans
Cooked broccoli or cauliflower
Mac n cheese
Fried okra
Salad with onions on the side
French, blue cheese, or honey mustard dressing
Fruit- oranges, bananas, grapes
Soft bread
Non tomato-based sauces if possible

Keep in Mind:

1) Plan to have dinner with the women after you have finished serving.  David and Christine Beinhacker told us that they had a great time talking with the women who were very warm and friendly.

2) Plan a vegetarian option.  Vegetarian quiche was very popular.

3) Expect salad to be a popular option so be sure to have plenty.

4) Keep the menu simple/efficient for serving 30+ people (add the volunteers and a staff person or two to your estimate of the food needed).  Mark your leftovers with the item description and date, so they can be refrigerated and used later by the shelter.

5) Be prepared for folks to decline things like tomatoes, nuts, bleu cheese and/or maybe offer them on the side.

6) With respect to dessert, consider having a non-chocolate option available (e.g., brownies and lemon bars).

7) Fresh fruit makes a nice addition to dinner.

8) Ask someone who has done this before for menu ideas that worked well and how to estimate portions to feed 30+ people.   Last month’s volunteers would be a great source of information.

9) Be sure to exchange cell phone numbers with families that are serving on the same night, just in case.

Important Note:  Participating families should return to the sign up page to view other families that are volunteering, so that you can coordinate. If you have any problems, contact lismaring@gmail.com.

About children:  Children are welcome to serve with their parents, but must be under parental supervision. It is your discretion whether your child(ren) are at an appropriate age to volunteer. If not, you can always have them experience community service by assisting you in meal preparation at home.

Background on N Street and Luther Place Memorial Church:  N Street Village is a non-profit social services organization in Washington, DC that provides services to meet the needs of homeless and extremely low-income women as they move to stable housing and maximum self-sufficiency.  NSV was founded in 1973 by Luther Place Memorial Church in response to the explosion of the homeless population after the deinstitutionalization of chronically mentally ill patients.  Every day of the year, N Street Village provides food, clothing, showers, transitional and permanent housing, mental and physical health care and support for women to re-enter the workforce. N Street Village serves nearly 800 women each year; this is 1/3 of the population of homeless women in DC.  With a staff of 45 people, N Street Village is aided by more than 300 volunteers each year.

Location: Luther Place Memorial Church 1226 Vermont Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20005

Springvale Terrace – Holiday Toiletry Drive

Springvale Terrace is an assisted living facility located in downtown Silver Spring. The community at Springvale is approximately 140 members of all races and religions.

IFFP members collect toiletry samples and regular size items during the year. Items are collected during the months of October and November (at a table in the rear of the Gathering cafeteria) and assembled into festive gift bags for each resident. Holiday cards are individually addressed and included with each gift bag. Bags are decorated by the children during the the IFFP holiday party.

Later that Sunday, IFFP hosts punch and cookies at Springvale Terrace in their community room. The bags are distributed at this time by the IFFP Teen Group. IFFP members are invited to come and visit with the Springvale Terrace residents during this event, which features interfaith caroling. The seniors love visiting with new faces, especially with small children.

Toiletry donation ideas: toothpaste, toothbrush, mouthwash, hand cream, emory boards, shampoo, conditioner, combs, deodorant, moisturizer, Chapstick, socks, tissues, shaving cream, disposable razors, etc.
We also like to include a fun gift like: deck of cards, candy canes, nail polish, pen/pencil, journals, perfume, lipstick, stationery,
Basically, you can donate anything that you think a senior would appreciate or could use, that could fit into a small bag.

If you have any questions or ideas, please contact Diane Katz at 301-774-5349 or Katz.Diane@verizon.net