The Main Ingredient has teams that are committed to serving our guests on a weekly basis. 

We have teams, for each day of the week, which consist of a dozen individuals.  Their objective is to provide a friendly dining experience similar to any well ran restaurant, yet provide it free-of-charge.  Each night, we provide a choice of two different entrees, side dishes, bread, drinks and desserts.

In serving in this manner we are doing so much more than providing food to hungry people, we are delivering a special dining experience every night of the week.

First steps to volunteering

Our Volunteer Coordinator will be getting in contact with you real soon to schedule you to work with one one of our volunteer teams.  These teams work one day a week from 4:30pm to 6:30pm. 

On your first shift you will need to fill out one of our Volunteer Release Forms as well as fill out some information on the computer in our volunteer room.   

After you have completed signing in take the time to introduce yourself to the other volunteers.  These are the people who will show you around as well as train you to perform the various tasks.

A few days after volunteering expect to be contacted by April, our Volunteer Coordinator who will get feedback from you about your experience as well as answer any questions you may have.

Food handlers Cards

The Jackson County Health Department requires our volunteers to have a current Food Handlers Card on file at the Mission within 30 days of starting.

Obtaining a card is not difficult but it does cost $10 and is valid for three years.

If you already have a valid card bring it with you so we can keep it on file.

If you don’t have a card you will need to take a test online at www.orfoodhandlers.com.

The website has study materials and videos available to use in studying for the test.

What you will be expected to do

When you volunteer at the Main Ingredient you will be working with other volunteers to serve the nightly meal.

We divide our volunteers into smaller teams of two or three people that are responsible for serving a section of tables for the evening.

There are five main tasks that each team needs to do:

1) Greet the guests with a basket of hot bread and butter.

2) Take the guest’s drink order. (We typically have a choice of three different drink offerings)

3) Take the guest’s order describing what the choices are for the evening. (We typically have two choices of entrees)

4) Before the guest is finished eating for the evening (but not too early), bring out a dessert tray offering a choice of selections.

5) Most of all, have fun and serve in a way that you would like to be served.