Providing a safe and supportive environment for families of seriously ill children at our Ronald McDonald Houses and Programs is our absolute priority. To ensure the continued safety of our families and their seriously ill children, effective immediately, we have minimised access to our Houses and Programs.
This means all our Meals Programs have been postponed until further notice.
One of the best ways you can help seriously ill children and their families at this time is to Sponsor A Meal.
We apologise in advance for any disappointment or inconvenience this creates for you and your organisation. Please know your support is vital and appreciated – however we must place the health of our families and children first at this time.
Many of the families who come to stay at Ronald McDonald House have dropped everything to rush to John Hunter Children’s Hospital so their seriously sick child can get the immediate help they need. Ronald McDonald House Newcastle continually strives to make a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of children with illness and disability, and their families – this includes providing a safe and supportive home for families and a nourishing, home cooked meal that is appreciated by parents and carers after a long day spent beside their child’s hospital bed.
HOW DOES MEALS FROM THE HEART WORK?
For 365 nights a year, over 600 families will sleep under the roof we’ve provided at Ronald McDonald House, Newcastle.
We created this space so we can keep families together while their seriously ill child gets the vital medical treatment they need.
The Meals from the Heart program gives teams or groups a hands-on opportunity to support the families during their time of need directly. After a tour of the house, so you can learn more about the service we offer to keep families together, we’ll provide the kitchen and cooking facilities, and you provide the food and enthusiastic chefs.
You don’t need to be a master chef in the kitchen – our families just appreciate the thought that goes into a home-cooked meal. At the end of your cook-up, we invite you to sit down in the dining room and share the meal with the families in the house and our Meals from the Heart volunteer supervisors.
THE BENEFITS FOR YOUR TEAM
Cooking a Meals from the Heart for families at Ronald McDonald House is an unforgettable team-building experience, that demonstrates your organisation’s commitment to corporate social responsibility in a meaningful way.
Bring your brand values to life by aligning your organisation with a leading children’s charity that understands the importance of providing family centred care, and drive greater employee engagement by inspiring staff, building morale and encouraging creativity.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
In addition to businesses purchasing the ingredients for your recipes, we ask for a donation of $400 to contribute to the ongoing management of the Meals from the Heart program.
WHAT CAN YOU COOK?
Whatever you like! With families continually coming into the house and leaving as their circumstances change, we’ll confirm catering numbers closer to the day of your booking. We usually have 50 people to cook for, plus your wonderful chefs.
When it comes to choosing the menu, remember there may be kids eating too, so basic food works better than a gourmet meal creation. Our volunteers often create a mixture of foods for dinner and dessert so that common dietary requirements are catered for. Some suggested menu items include a BBQ cooked on our outdoor BBQ, lasagne and salads, roast with veggies, Mexican night, vegetarian and meat burgers, and brownies and ice cream, pavlova or apple pie for dessert.
Please bear in mind that families in the house go back and forth between the hospital throughout the day and evening. It’s best to cook something that can be reheated in case they miss mealtime at 6pm.
WHO CAN PARTICIPATE?
For safety reasons, please only bring children over the age of 15 to assist in the kitchen.
Corporate groups, sports teams, schools, social groups, families, friendship groups – we don’t mind! As there is a lot of preparation, cooking and cleaning involved, we encourage groups of a maximum of eight people per booking.
Many children staying at the house have suppressed immune systems due to the hospital treatment they are receiving. As such, if you or a member of your group is unwell or has come into contact with illnesses like chickenpox, measles, gastro or the common cold, we ask that you do not attend the house.
THE IMPACT YOU’LL MAKE
Providing a simple home-cooked meal makes an incredible difference for all of the families that stay at Ronald McDonald House.
Every year we welcome over 600 families into the Newcastle House, providing accommodation and support for travelling families so their child can receive medical treatment close by.
We further support families through our Family Rooms located in the John Hunter Children’s Hospital, providing a much-needed place for families to take a break from the ward. Our Learning Program offers tutoring and educational liaison for children that have missed substantial schooling because of their medical condition. Our Holiday Retreat at Forster gives families the chance to take a well-deserved break and reconnect.
Ronald McDonald House Newcastle is an independent charity that relies on community support and fundraising to deliver our mission to provide quality family centred care to hundreds of families every year.
Your time and contribution will help keep families together at a time when they need it the most.
HOW DO YOU SIGN UP?
Follow the steps below to book your Meals from the Heart experience.
Click the link below to book.
Choose the date that suits you.
Make your payment for your Meals from the Heart experience. Your donation will go directly towards helping keep families together.
- A member of our team will confirm your booking with you.
Mark the date in everyone’s calendar so you know when you are booked in for.
We will send you emails with more information and the next steps for your booking, including your meal selection!
CAN’T FIND YOUR DATE?
We offer other hands-on ways to give back to the families at Ronald McDonald House.
Click on the Big Brekkie or Lovin’ from the Oven buttons for more information.