During the fall, winter and spring months, Montclair Emergency Services for the Homeless (MESH) partners with churches and synagogues in the Montclair community to serve thousands of nourishing evening meals for homeless and near-homeless residents of Montclair. The concept, MESH Café, includes not only nourishing food but also dinner conversations with individuals and families from our community. Bnai Keshet hosts MESH Cafe every Monday night.
If you want to volunteer for our MESH Cafe evening meal program, please do so using following sign-up form.
How You Can Be Part of MESH
- Prepare and bring a main dish, side dish, appetizer, or dessert - enough to feed 20-30 guests. Stay and help out in the kitchen and in serving.
- Volunteer to be the evening's "captain," whether you bring food or not. The captain's duties are:
- Tell all volunteers the MESH Cafe guidelines before the meal begins (helpfully posted in the BK kitchen and on the website). Be a role model for hospitality and welcoming to both guests and volunteers.
- Supervise hygiene standards of volunteers in collaboration with MESH Staff (gloves, hand-washing, tying hair back).
- Designate a volunteer to tell guests the night's menu and say motzi at the beginning of the meal.
- Supervise the flow of the kitchen, making sure dishes are being plated and going out to guests.
- Supervise clean-up at the end of the night.
Fill out and sign MESH paperwork at the end of the night.
Just show up and volunteer! Plate dishes, serve, help manage student volunteers, bus tables, clean up the kitchen.
Donate to BK's MESH efforts, helping us buy necessary items like extra gloves and paper goods as well as providing funding for having extra frozen meals and other food on hand.
MESH Guidelines For Captains and Volunteers
- Long hair should be pulled back.
- Wash hands with warm water and soap before beginning work and whenever there is a chance your hands may be soiled (after sneezing, using the restroom, dealing with anything dirty in the kitchen, etc.)
- Wear gloves whenever preparing or serving food and drink. If gloves become soiled, remove them, wash hands, and put on a new pair. When in doubt, change gloves.
- Please do not volunteer when ill.
- MESH Staff will help with any questions about hygiene procedures.
- Blue labeled ovens, pots and pans, and utensils are for dairy/pareve meals. Red labels are for meat.
- Any meat served at BK must be certified kosher and prepared and cooked at BK using correctly labeled items.
- Dairy/pareve products can be prepared at home and reheated at BK, or prepared at BK - they do not need to be certified kosher.
- Meat and dairy may not be served together in the same meal.