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Nov 16, 2011 10:23 PM

Feeding volunteers dinner....

I'm part of a small group who are feeding 35 volunteers dinner. We really don't know how much food we need. Here is the plan so far:

Tray of ready made sandwiches from deli
Tray of ready made pinwheel sandwhiches from deli
Tray of salami and beef stick, tray of sliced cheese
Tortilla chips and salsa
Pita bread, hummus, red pepper, cucumber
2 veggie trays
2 dips - spinach artichoke and artichoke jalapeno
Bowl of oranges, tray of banans and grapes
Desserts will be frozen cheese cake bites, frozen mini chocolate tarts and cream puffs from Costco

We don't want anything that needs to be heated or kept warm. What do you think?

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  1. What will the volunteers have been doing? If it's been a full day of hard work, you might need something a bit more substantial - quiches, tarts, pasta or rice salad, or more sandwiches?

    3 Replies
    1. re: gembellina

      Also, is this a "structured" sit down - have dinner type buffet line - or is this a social mingle type even that will have food/dinner to eat while people walk around and socialize.

      1. re: thimes

        This is mainly to feed them while they're working. So I think half of them will eat first while the other ones are working the auction, then they'll go out to work while the next group comes in to eat. So not really a sit down and socialize kind of thing. More like eat quickly and then get back to work.

      2. re: gembellina

        Volunteers are setting up for a dinner/live auction. So setting up tables and chairs and decorating. They will have had breakfast/lunch brought in earlier. I'm actually not sure if it's the same volunteers who will be doing the day shift. I don't think so, because that would be a really long day.

      3. I look at your menu and see sandwich rolls, tortillas (or lavash) for the deli rollers, crackers, tortilla chips, and pita bread. Too many bready type things. I'd swap out either the pre-made deli sandwiches or the pre-made deli rollers and add a platter of sliced ham
        Have a bowl of cubed pineapple next to the ham. Lose the bananas and oranges.

        I'd lose the salami and beef stick and do a nice cheese platter with grapes.

        I'd also add (real, not pre-made) guacamole to the chips and salsa.

        And I would swap out one of the artichoke dips ~~ surely don't need two artichoke dips. I'd serve this cheese spread instead w/the veggie platter. (double the recipe)

        Cheese spread
        1 (6-ounce) jar cheese spread
        1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
        1/2 cup mayonnaise
        1/2 cup butter, softened
        1 teaspoon garlic powder

        Place all of the ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Mix well with a handheld electric mixer for about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until completely combined. Store in a plastic container with a snap-on lid in the refrigerator. Serve at room temperature.

        1 Reply
        1. re: laliz

          Thank you for the ideas. The cheese spread looks good.

        2. My only other considerations for amounts would be are the volunteers mostly men or women (men eat more - always do) and make sure you understand how the deli people "count" sandwiches. Some places count whole sandwiches but then cut them in 1/2 or 1/3s sometimes. Other places count each 1/2 sandwich as "a serving or sandwich".

          With a mixed crowd and these other options for a "grab and go" type dinner I would estimate 1.25 sandwiches per person (keeping in mind this will depend on the size of the sandwich). You could do 1.5 per person if this is a "big fundraising auction" just as a gesture to the volunteers. With a smaller charity auction volunteers will have less expectation and sometimes it is bad form to look like your spending excess on this sort of thing. I know - but something to consider.

          I would also "re-evaluate" the assortment based on a grab and go idea - so essentially people will be filling a plate once and eating. So I agree 2 dips is probably too many, I doubt many people will have room on their plate for sandwich - hummus (which is a dip too) with crackers and veggies - 2 dips with more crackers and veggies - and fruit.

          I might look to add a veggie salad of some sort (maybe a broccoli salad) instead of a dip. I know you are serving veggie trays but that is a little different from a veggie salad mentally for eaters.

          Just my 2 cents.