There are several ways to do supper clubs. It is important to give each one some thought and if one doesn’t work, try the other options or make your own. Full Service Supper Club – the church provides all the food with a suggested donation. The food is theme-based and made to look attractive and taste great. The focus is mingling and a 10-15 min health talk. Guests sign up for a newsletter or email list to get the recipes to the food they enjoyed.
Potluck Supper Club – church provides a theme and the members cook dishes plus they encourage participants to bring their own favorite vegan/vegetarian dish.
Health Luncheons – Simple, in home outreach. VERY good for small churches and/or those who want to do outreach but live some distance from the church.
No matter which option you choose there are some principles that should be considered for any outreach. For example, it is very important for the food to taste great. Not just good, but great! “Let us remember that we have had a long time to become accustomed to the health-reform diet. We cannot expect anything else than that in our sanitariums (churches, restaurants, clubs, etc.) it will be necessary to furnish dishes prepared somewhat differently from those prepared for our own use, for we have learned to relish plain food. It is necessary to plan more liberally for a medical institution (church, restaurant, club, etc.) than for a private family. Many things must be taken into consideration… A straitjacket is not to be put on the appetite suddenly.” 13MR 39.
Full Service Supper Club – currently being used by Oakridge and White Rock Churches (LINK), this method of supper club is really on fire. They often pack the house. This club is attracting college age students and singles who are looking for something fun to do for a night out or looking to meet up with new friends. Using Meetup.com both churches have had to do very little marketing and yet have full houses each month. This method of supper club may seem like a lot more work than just placing an ad and doing a community potluck, But it is very effective and lots of fun. Many singles and young adults would not come to such a ‘potluck’ because they have no idea what to cook and may not even have the skills. They would be embarrassed to bring a dish for others to eat. However, providing the food to a community group may open up some concerns so be sure to follow food safety and handling rules and look into any municipality laws as well.
Potluck Supper Club – Doing a supper club with a participant emphasis removes any possible legal issues about feeding people in your church ‘kitchen’ since potlucks are generally exempt from food safety and handling laws.
Health Luncheons – Like potluck supper clubs you do not have to worry about having a certified food safe kitchen. One way to fund the program is to have a donation box. You can do them weekly or monthly as your time, and the interest, allows.
General Info for Supper Clubs, Cooking Schools, and Health Luncheons
Recipes can be used from any cookbook (re-write out – do not photocopy without permission). Recipes are not included under copyright law thus they can be freely used and re-used. However, books or collections of recipes and photographs are copyrighted. So do not photocopy unless you have permission. Recipe ideas under Resources for Sharing.
Please check with your local Health Authority about what you can or cannot do in your church kitchen. Whether you have a food preparation area or a full kitchen (must be inspected and certified in BC by the BC Health Authority) you must follow food safety and handling.
Caring About Food Safety is a short, self-guided course about the safe preparation and handling of food. Offered at no cost, it is designed to raise awareness about protecting public health by preventing the spread of food-borne illness. Caring About Food Safety is for anyone who buys, prepares, handles or serves food to family and friends, and people in workplaces that provide food to others. It will be useful for people whose clients are more susceptible to food-borne illness, and for whom there are no mandated food-safety training requirements – such as operators of child daycares or small, residential care facilities.
In addition, when possible, it is recommended that at least one member who is preparing food take a Food Safety course. They can be done locally or online. They are relatively inexpensive and usually only take a weekend to complete. Learn more here: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/keeping-bc-healthy-safe/food-safety/food-safety-courses