Neighborhood Cooking Foundation

See how it works

On the 3rd Wednesday of each month, magic happens at St. Clouds restaurant...

We have something for everyone to do!  We need folks willing to do everything from chopping veggies to juicing oranges, from making dressings and sauces to wrapping up food for transport, from loading up cars to resetting tables.  No cooking experience is necessary...we'll find a way to put you to work!

Here's what a day at the Homeless Cooking Project looks like:


8:20 am:  Schleppers arrive

Our band of hale and hearty schleppers gets St. Clouds ready for the day! 

This group of early birds makes lots of trips up and down the stairs to bring everything down from the storage area.  Then all of the tables are covered with protective tops before the cooks arrive.




9:00 am:  Volunteers arrive

Dozens of volunteers from the community come with donations of:

  • frehs produce
  • "flavor bursts" (olives, cheese, curry paste, coconut milk, etc.)
  • staples (eggs, potatoes, rice, etc.)

All the raw ingredients needed to prepare a feast.!

9 - 10 am:  Menu planning and prep work

Chef John begins to craft a menu based on the raw ingredients contributed that day, and assigns jobs to the crew.

Volunteers get to work scrubbing, washing, peeling, dicing, juicing, chopping, slicing, pureeing, mincing, and generally preparing the raw ingredients.


10 - 11 am:  Cooking and creating!

Prepped ingredients are then grilled...

...or fried...

...or sauced...

...or baked, or otherwise transformed into delicious, restaurant-quality meals.


Beautiful presentation is extremely important.  Our goal?  Providing an hour of dignity and good food for people with too little of both in their lives.

11 - 12:  Portioning and packaging

Each month we feed nearly 500 people at 8 neighborhood shelters.  So all of the food is portioned...

...wrapped, labeled, and prepared for delivery.


12 - 1: clean up and reset

In the end, St. Clouds has to transform back into a restaurant!  So dishes are washed...


...tables are reset...

...and meals are loaded into cars for delivery to the shelters.

As warm meals and warm wishes are sent out to our neighborhood shelters, we begin to look forward to the next month's Homeless Cooking Project.

Check out this video for more on how it works.