The founder of Caring for Friends™, Rita Ungaro-Schiavone, would place a tray on her dinner table and fill it for someone in need as she fed her family.
This belief of feeding your friends as you would your family is still true today in our organization.
Caring for Friends provides meals to isolated, elderly, and disabled people who don’t have the means to cook for themselves. In many cases, 7 meals are delivered by volunteer visitors who spend quality time visiting with client friends.
We’re able to serve close to 300,000 meals a year thanks to the generosity and dedication of our volunteer cooks. Many of our volunteers have been cooking with us for over 20 years. If you’re interested in cooking a meal, it’s easy to do!
Getting started as a volunteer cook
Caring for Friends provides tins for meals, plastic bags to store them in, and labels. You provide the contents, the cooking skill, and the time to assemble the meals.
Many meals are prepared by individuals in their home kitchens on a steady basis throughout the year. They just make an extra portion 1 night a week.
Cooking as a group
We also encourage groups to get together to cook. We have participants who invite their neighbors and friends to gather in their home and spend a few hours group cooking for Caring for Friends. We provide packaging materials for the meals, as well as instructions and assistance on how to deliver the food.
Cooking in a group at our Caring Kitchen
Cooking may be done at our commercial kitchen in Philadelphia or onsite at your organization. Corporate groups, religious and community organizations, schools, scouts, and fraternities/sororities cook in groups as service activities and team-building events. For corporations, cooking can be a great team-building activity!
Cooking sessions at our facilities can last anywhere from 2 to 4 hours depending on your group’s needs. Groups can either cook food provided by Caring for Friends or provide their own ingredients for the meals they will prepare. They can also bring items pre-cooked.