Meals Committee Mandate

Meals 2012-11-19


Our task is to administer the Meals program at Great Oak in a way that is healthy, sustainable, and affordable for the community.


The Meals Committee is a GO standing committee, as defined in our community agreement of 2004-02-16, Common Meals Proposal. The committee is empowered to carry out the responsibilities listed below.


Our task is to administer the Meals program at Great Oak in a way that is healthy, sustainable, and affordable for the community.
Like all standing committees, Meals supplies a representative to the GO Steering committee, and has both a financial budget and a work "budget." Unlike other committees, the financial budget is not a part of the GO operating budget, but operates in an independently self-sustaining way. There is no reason in principle why Meals could not ask the community for a share of the operating budget, by participating in the annual budget process, but this has never happened historically.
The meals program has a number of goals:
-- To be financially sustainable (cash flow, minimum balance)
-- To be sustainable in terms of the work of community members (as part of
the GO work system)
-- To offer high-quality affordable meals close to home for community
-- To maintain a safe and healthy working and dining environment
-- To support innovation, such as allowing cooks to do creative things
-- To have transparent decision making and administration
-- To help in creating and sustaining community at Great Oak
As part of this, there are a number of activities and responsibilities the Meals committee must carry out:
-- Determining number and timing of meals and allocating work hours (in collaboration with the Work committee)
-- Scheduling meal dates, times, and work shifts (via the Meals Scheduler work position)
--Overseeing purchasing of supplies and staples (via the Shopper work position)
-- Administering billing, reimbursements, and accounts (via the Meals Biller and Meals Billing Tech positions, in collaboration with F&L)

-- Maintaining cooking and cleaning equipment and furnishings (in collaboration with the Common House committee)
-- Training workers and working with them to improve the system
-- Setting policies for the Meals Program, including:
* Rate Structure (discounts for teens, kids, etc.)
* Other fees: pantry fee, late fee
* Timing of reimbursements, minimum balance in Meals accounts * Policies about late plates, when food is up for grabs, etc.
* What foods count as staples
* What equipment we will supply
-- Listening to input from the community and looking for ways to make the meal experience better (both workers and diners)
-- Keeping the community informed about the status of the meals program and committee decisions
Committee Structure
* Meals has 3 to 5 standing members (as determined by the committee) plus convener and steering committee representative
-- The committee holds regular meetings (currently once a month), open to everyone in the meals program
-- Minutes are to be posted in an appropriate place
-- Financial reports are to be provided at least annually
-- Mailing list:
-- Work: There are both direct meals jobs and support jobs. The listing below is the status quo as of 2012, but the committee may change it in response to circumstances:
* Direct meals jobs: cooks, assistant cooks, cleaners, with hours to be determined by the committee, and other positions as needed (such as grill cleaner)
* Specific positions: shopper, biller, scheduler, tech support, with modifications as circumstances require
-- Meals coordinates with F&L on managing bank accounts
-- Meals follows all Great Oak agreements, including the three bid process for purchases over $500.00