Meals from the Heart program:
Frequently Asked Questions

Planning Ahead

1. How do I sign up?  

  • Start by reading the Meals from the Heart 2021 guidelines. To participate in the program, all volunteers are required to review and agree. Next, decide if you want to drop off a meal or prepare one inside the House. Call the Family Services team member at the House location you plan on visiting:   
    • Park Ave:  314.773.1100 ext. 0 
    • West County:  314.485.0300 ext. 0 
    • West Pine:  314.531.6601 ext. 0 
  • Once you schedule a time with a member of the Family Services Team you will receive an automatic email with a reminder of the day 

2. Do I need to be vaccined to participate in the program?   

  • Yes. At this time all volunteers participating in the limited Meals from the Heart opportunity will need to be vaccinated to enter into the House and prepare a meal.  


3. Do I have to wear a mask while volunteering?   

  • Yes. To keep our guest families safe, all volunteers must wear a mask while inside the Ronald McDonald House (even if they are vaccinated). Extra masks are available at the front desk.  


4. What information do I need to check-in? 

  • Please bring a current photo ID and the information regarding your vaccine (date(s) and type).   


5. How many people can I have in my group? 

  • During this limited volunteer period, groups can have a maximum of six individuals. Children over the age of 12 can participate if they are vaccinated and are included in the group of six.   


6. How do I get there?  


7. How many people should I prepare for?  

  • Our Ronald McDonald House program is still not at full capacity. Please, call our Family Services Team for an update on the number of families to prepare for.  


8. What should I prepare?  

  • The menu is up to your group. We encourage family favorites and meals that will reheat well.  

Ronald McDonald House Procedures  

1. Can I still deliver a meal, instead of preparing it at the House?  


2. Is this opportunity available at all three locations?  

  • For now, yes. Please note that beginning in July, the West County House will be undergoing construction to give the kitchen a “facelift” (at that time volunteers are encouraged to deliver meals). Please call for more details.  


3. Why do I need to check-in when I arrive?  

  • Because the safety and security of our residents is a top priority, we have instituted a policy that requires everyone over the age of 18 to present a valid form of identification and check-in through a system that searches the National Sex Offender Registry. Upon check-in, you will receive a visitor badge to wear while you prepare the meal. Please make sure that everyone in your group receives this notice. Without an ID, we will be unable to check you into the Ronald McDonald House. Thank you so much for helping us keep our families safe. 


4. What time are meals served? 

  • Dinner is served buffet-style at 6 p.m. The recommended arrival time to prepare dinner is 4:30-5 p.m. Breakfast is served buffet-style at 9 a.m. The recommended arrival time to prepare breakfast is 7:30-8 a.m. (Please do not arrive before 7:30 a.m.).


5. What is in the kitchen?  

  • The kitchens are stocked with standard kitchen equipment, including a grill at each location. Each kitchen also has plates, bowls, silverware, and everything you should need for serving. The houses provide coffee and tea. If you would like to bring other types of drinks, you can, but it is not required. 


6. Do I need to stay and clean up? 

  • Please plan to stay until approximately 7 p.m. to put food away and clean up the kitchen and dining room areas. If you are unable to stay for cleanup, please advise the Manager on duty. 


7. Why are there not more families here at mealtime? 

  • Not all families are here when meals are served as they may be at the hospital. However, the food you prepare will be eaten when they return to the house. 


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