Press Release

RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE® AT STANFORD LAUNCHES megaBITES MEAL PROGRAM TRUSTING COMMUNITY AND CORPORATE SUPPORT TO FEED
123 FAMILIES EACH DAY
Google Food Developed the Meal Program; Kicks Off Volunteer Initiative
on June 26

PALO ALTO, Calif. – Fortified by strategy and insights from volunteers at Google Food, Sysco San Francisco and BlueCart, Ronald McDonald House® at Stanford has cooked up an innovative new meal program called megaBITES, which leverages corporate and community support to generate impactful volunteer opportunities and creates a streamlined process for preparing and serving well-balanced and nutritious meals to the 123 families who stay at the House each day.

Following the recent conclusion of a multi-year, multi-phase expansion that nearly doubled daily capacity, the House now provides a continuum of care to 123 families each night, making it the largest Ronald McDonald House in the world. The two-building campus accommodates families who travel outside their communities to access medical treatment for their critically ill children at local hospitals.

Volunteers from Google Food stepped in several months ago to help the House address the growing food service needs and strategize and plan its expanded meal service initiative with creative meal planning and other advisory services. The House has also relied on ongoing partnerships with Sysco San Francisco and BlueCart, both initially contributing considerable expertise to develop processes and identify vendors and now in support of program operations. Sysco San Francisco also contributed $10,000 of in-kind support, and committed to ongoing volunteer activities from its employees and expert culinary team.

The result is megaBITES, which introduces advance menu planning options and a streamlined process of transporting and serving daily meals at dining rooms in two buildings and enables corporate or community groups to engage up to eight volunteers to prepare and serve an average of 300 servings at each meal. The expert menu planning guarantees continuous variety, healthy and vegetarian options, and multiple side-dishes and dessert as well.

To participate, each volunteer group makes a tax-deductible donation of $600 to offset the advance procurement of required ingredients for their upcoming meal preparation, and through an interactive online calendar secures a date and menu selection for the meal they’ll prepare and serve. The donated meal allows volunteer groups to feed 123 families for an average of $2 per person.

“With the development of megaBITES, we were able to tap into some top Bay Area companies’ expertise and realize economies of scale that would have been difficult to attain on our own,” said Annette Eros, CEO of Ronald McDonald House at Stanford. “As intended, the program creates a unique engagement opportunity for Bay Area businesses and corporations looking for meaningful volunteer programs for their employees to make a tangible difference for families with critically ill children” RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE AT STANFORD LAUNCHES megaBITES …/2

“We leapt at the opportunity to work with Ronald McDonald House at Stanford; the decision was a no-brainer,” said Konstantin Zvereff, CEO of BlueCart. “Our hope is that BlueCart can streamline the House’s food-ordering process to enable them to spend less time focusing on operations and more time aiding families with critically ill children.”

Volunteers from Google Food will officially launch the first corporate meal of the megaBITES program on Monday, June 26, 2017, at the House, arriving at 3 p.m. to prepare and serve gourmet tacos, side dishes and dessert in two dining rooms at 5:30 p.m. The inaugural megaBITES meal coincides with the month-long Google Serve initiative, which encourages Google employees to volunteer in their communities.

The megaBITES program will rely on volunteer meal service, scheduled on a daily basis, and the corresponding group donations to provide meals to families at no charge 365 days a year. The program will also occasionally feature special Bistro Nights with enhanced features such as table service, tablecloths and other special amenities to accommodate larger volunteer groups.

Following initial outreach for the program’s launch, megaBITES already has 20 meals scheduled in the next 90 days and is recruiting additional community and corporate support to fill out the roster. Interested business, corporate and community groups are encouraged to sign up for megaBITES by contacting megabites@rmhstanford.org.

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