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Meals From The Heart

Bring Your Home to Our Houses. Our Families Are Bringing Their Appetites.

Families staying at a Ronald McDonald House or Family Room are often far from the comforts of home, including freshly prepared meals. Through Meals from the Heart, you can provide meals for families, allowing them to eat together without the stress of cooking or the expense of dining out.

Whether you’re looking for a team-building activity for colleagues or a fun way to give back with friends, Meals from the Heart is a great way to be part of our mission and bring some of your home to families away from theirs.

Questions? Contact our Community Engagement team at [email protected].

More Choices. More Ways to Serve.


Culinary Hearts

Enjoy a Chef-Led Experience

Culinary Hearts makes it easy for groups of up to 10 people to experience the joy of feeding families. Volunteers make a donation and our chefs plan the menu, buy the ingredients, and lead your group in creating a delicious meal for families.

Learn more.

Meals from the heart

Plan and Cook Your Meal From Scratch

Meals from the Heart puts you in control of creating a comforting meal for families. Your group of up to 6 people creates the menu, buys ingredients, and cooks in our fully-equipped kitchens. Share a family recipe or your own creation.

Learn more.

Family Embellishment

Catered Meals

Order Meals for In-Hospital Families

Can’t volunteer in-person due to time or distance? You can still give comfort to families who need to stay close to their hospitalized children. Purchase catered meals for delivery to our in-hospital locations. You might not be cooking, but you are sending love.

Learn more.

"Our team had a blast! It was an excellent time at the Ronald McDonald House near Lurie Children's. With the guidance of the chefs, our team made a delicious meal for over 50 families staying at the House."

The Tyson team

Make a Meal for Families in the Heart of Chicago


Culinary Hearts is perfect for your small group interested in volunteering in the heart of downtown Chicago. Our largest House near Lurie Children’s Hospital serves hundreds of families every year who will love the meal you’ll prepare with guidance from our chefs.

Your participation in Culinary Hearts means that we can offer families a variety of delicious meals each week. And once you confirm a date, you don’t need to plan a thing!

  • Groups of up to 10 volunteers
  • A gift of $400 provides lunch
  • 3.5 hours includes cooking, packing, and cleaning up
  • Groups receive a link to donate via credit card once a volunteer date is confirmed
  • Just bring yourself! We’ll supply all materials and cooking supplies

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement: For the safety of all guest families, volunteers, and staff members, all volunteers must show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to volunteer.

View dates near Lurie Children’s Hospital

Bring a Taste of Home to Families


Our Meals from the Heart program is all about bringing the flavors of your home into our Houses: you create the menu, buy the ingredients, and prepare a meal for families in our spacious, modern kitchens.

We accept groups of up to 6 volunteers at our locations across Chicagoland. Just bring yourself and your unopened, unprepared ingredients – we’ll supply everything else!

  • Groups of up to 6 volunteers
  • 3 hours includes cooking, packing, and cleaning up

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement: For the safety of all guest families, volunteers, and staff members, all volunteers must show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to volunteer.

Make Hard Days Easier by Catering Meals to Our In-Hospital Locations


Not everyone can make it to our Houses to cook – or to eat. When families face long days in the hospital, our Meals from the Heart program delivers catered meals so they can stay by their child’s side.

You can purchase catered meals from local restaurants to help families who appreciate something more than hospital food. It’s easy – simply have the meal delivered at the designated time and we’ll share the meals with families.

View dates near Edward Hospital in Naperville

View dates near Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago

Have a Large Group? Share Your Generosity with More Families.


We get it. You want to bring your whole family to help our guest families. You want your entire team to share in something special.

We wish we could accommodate larger groups, but keeping our families and their children safe is our first priority.

That gives your groups options, though. Come on multiple days. Go to several Houses. Share your generosity with more families.

Contact us to find the best way for your group to make the biggest impact.

Know Before You Go


We want a well-run, meaningful, and fun day for your whole group. The best way is to make sure we’ve got all your questions answered.

  • Time Matters

    Your volunteer time will be approximately 3 to 3.5 hours, including prep, cooking, packaging, and clean-up. We need you to arrive on time at your location and remain until everything is cleaned up.

  • COVID Precautions

    Everyone in your group needs to bring (not email) proof of full vaccination. We require masks and standard safety protocols the entire time. The health of the most vulnerable is our first priority.

  • Group Information

    For safety reasons, our age minimum is 13 years old. Please do not bring younger children. We also cannot accommodate more than our maximum group size. It’s a matter of health and safety and ensures your group has the best experience.

  • What to Bring

    If you’re coming to our House near Lurie Children’s, just bring yourself (and wear comfortable shoes)! If you are cooking at another location, just bring yourself and your unopened ingredients. No prep beforehand, please. We have all supplies and utensils.