Meals from the Heart

When a child is in the hospital, the days can be very exhausting and emotionally difficult for families. Their situation rarely leaves them with the time, energy or funds to cook a fresh meal. 

Meals from the Heart is a group or corporate volunteering program providing families staying at Ronald McDonald House Canberra with a home cooked meal two nights a week (Tuesdays and Fridays).

We invite teams of co-workers or community groups to prepare dinner for the families staying at the House (located within the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children). We provide the kitchen and you provide the menu!

Make a booking now (for up to 4 months in advance) to come in for a rewarding experience of cooking for families in need, using the calendar below.

Please read the FAQs below the calendar, and the content of the confirmation emails before turning up for your scheduled booking.

Meals from the Heart - Ronald McDonald House Canberra
Unable to cook but want to support families in need? You can make a donation which we will use to buy meals for families in the House.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens after I have made a booking using the calendar?

You will receive an automated email confirming your booking once you place it. Please follow all instructions contained within the email for yourself and your group members.

Is there a cost to take part?

As of 01 February 2023, we are introducing a financial donation to take part in the Meals from the Heart program. The cost will range from $250 to $500 depending on the size & type of the organisation, and ability to pay. 

If you are a community group or similar, there will be no charge. 

After you make your booking, and if it is after 1 Feb 2023, you'll be advised of payment methods closer to the date.

If you have any questions, please contact us at 02 6281 5894. 

What do I need to bring on the day of my booking?

We provide the kitchen and the utensils, as well as aprons, hair nets and masks, but you need to bring your own groceries/food items that you wish to cook with. 

How many people can a group bring?

Maximum group size is 5 participants for health and safety reasons. All group members must be over 18.

How many people will my group be cooking for?

We have 10 rooms in our Ronald McDonald House, with each room housing two adults and sometimes 1-2 children (siblings of the patient). Therefore, you can expect to be cooking for about 20-25 people. 

However, closer to your scheduled visit, we can discuss details such as the menu and approximate catering numbers, so you know how many groceries to bring!

When and where do I report on the day of my booking?

Meals from the Heart dinners are served at 6.15pm on Tuesdays and Fridays. To allow enough meal preparation time, we request that you arrive by 4.30pm at the latest and start cooking! 

We are located on Level 2 of the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children, Hospital Rd, Garran.

Once you arrive, please sign in with a staff member. You can also phone us when you're downstairs if you need help carrying the groceries! 

Our number is 02 6281 5894. 

What can I cook for the families? 

Menu suggestions

Our kitchen will have most things you need to prepare your meal. We have two microwaves, two ovens with separate grills, as well as two large induction cooktops.

Main meals, side dishes and desserts are popular with our families. Please aim to provide more than one main dish and include vegetarians in your planning.

We don’t often have many children in our House, so please check with us before catering specifically for children.

Please note we are a dry house, so no alcohol is allowed.

When cooking in our kitchen, please make sure you follow ‘Safe Food Handling Practices’. For more information please refer to the following document: https://health.act.gov.au/sites/default/files/2018-09/Food%20Safety%20Guide.pdf

Main dish suggestions

  • Roasts
  • Mexican nights
  • Pasta dishes
  • Curry night
  • Pizza night
  • Hot dogs
  • Hamburgers
  • Casseroles

Side dish suggestions

  • Salads
  • Rice dishes
  • Potatoes (mashed, baked, or chips)
  • Bruschetta
  • Fresh bread/dinner rolls
  • Garlic bread
  • Vegie kebabs
  • Stuffed mushrooms
  • Roast/steamed veggies

Please note: soup is not very popular with our families.

Dessert

  • Fruit/cheese platter
  • Muffins
  • Cakes/cupcakes
  • Apple pie
  • Fruit salad
  • Brownies/cookies
  • Pavlova
  • Ice cream & toppings
  • Puddings

Can I bring drinks?

Please note we are a dry house, so no alcohol is allowed. 

You may bring drinks such as fruit boxes/poppers, cans of soft drink and bottles of juice.

Can I cancel my booking?

You can cancel your booking online up to 14 days ahead of your scheduled visit. 

If you wish to cancel on a short notice (anytime from 24 hours to 14 days before your scheduled visit) we request that you please notify a team member directly by emailing us on events.canberra@rmhc.org.au or by calling us on 02 6281 5894. 

If you're cancelling your booking, we request you to make a donation so that we can buy meals for our families instead. Visit this page to donate.

Who do I contact for further questions?

Please email our Ronald McDonald House Canberra team on events.canberra@rmhc.org.au or give us a call on 02 6281 5894 for more information.

After you have made a booking

To comply with our Safeguarding Children Policy, volunteers must register prior to your scheduled date. Once you've booked your cooking date, you will receive a confirmation email with a link for an online registration form. All cooking group participants must read the Group Volunteering Guidelines and agree to these in the online registration form at least 48 hours prior to your booked date. We will also send you periodic reminders with relevant information.

Please check your junk folder if you did not receive the booking confirmation email. If you're unable to find it, please contact us at events.canberra@rmhc.org.au

If you need to cancel your booking for any reason, we request that you notify us at least 14 days prior to your booking. If you need to cancel at short notice, we request that you make a donation and sponsor a meal so families don't need to worry about cooking.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Please note that from 1 February 2023,
we are introducing a financial donation to take part in the Meals from the Heart program. The cost will range from $250 to $500 depending on the size & type of the organisation, and ability to pay. If you are a community group or similar, there will be no charge. 

After you make your booking, and if it is after 1 Feb 2023, you'll be advised of payment methods closer to the date.

Got questions? Contact us:

Ronald McDonald House Charities ACT & South East NSW

PO Box 635, Mawson, ACT 2607, Australia

Phone: (02) 6281 5894

Email: events.canberra@rmhc.org.au


Ronald McDonald House Charities Australian Capital Territory & South East NSW is a charity registered by the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission, and endorsed as a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) by the Australian Taxation Office. The Charity's ABN is 28 589 286 011 (registered on ACNC as "Canberra and South East NSW House Inc). 

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