Meals Committee Mandate

Meals 2012-11-19


The Meals Committee at Great Oak is responsible for administering the Meals program in a healthy, sustainable, and affordable way for the community. The committee has various responsibilities, including determining meal schedules, overseeing purchasing, administering billing, maintaining equipment, setting policies, and listening to community input, and has both a financial budget and a work "budget."


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