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How To Build a Group Cooking Community

On February 23, 2014 by Kim

Food is strongly associated with community. One of the goals of OAMM is to get you around the table with the people you love more often. For most that means sitting down with our families, the most basic building block of community. But we all long for meaningful relationships outside of that. We desire friends, peers, mentors and even those to whom we can reach out. Despite the constant stream of communication we receive from our numerous technological devices, truly connecting with those outside of our family can be surprisingly difficult. Let’s combine our needs (food), desires (meaningful relationships), and one of our favorite past times (freezer cooking) to kill a few birds with one stone: group freezer cooking!

The Benefits of Group Freezer Cooking

  • Variety – Try out¬†lots of new ingredients and dishes, while keeping shopping and cooking simple.
  • Simplicity –¬†Make¬†only 1 or 2 recipes instead of¬†the 12 to 15 called for on a regular OAMC Day.
  • Flexibility – Spread cooking time out as needed (i.e. cook a few meals each day).
  • Community – Build existing relationships or develop NEW relationships.
  • Service –¬†Invite someone new, help each other out during difficult seasons (sickness, new baby, etc.), or make extra meals for someone in need.

Resources for Starting a Group

This is the beginning of a new series at OAMM with more resources to come. Stay tuned for posts on:
  • Getting Started¬†including a Planning Worksheet, Invitation, and Member Survey.
  • Cost Tracking¬†including a worksheet that calculates cost per meal and how much each member is owed or owes to the group after their purchases.
  • FAQs¬†including¬†staff videos and interviews with group swappers.

A Word On Community

YOU are all part of our community. We want to get to know you better and we want you to get to know each other better! If you have participated in group swaps, please share your experience with us in the comments below, on our Facebook page or Google+ page. Show us your pictures on Instagram. If you are just getting started with group swap, we welcome comments, questions and suggestions for new resources. How can we better serve you?


Join the discussion
  1. We have been doing this at our church as a meal ministry since last year, we get to fellowship while cooking, learn new recipes and have some great meals in our freezer for those times when a family needs them. We have been able to help people during death of a loved one,a family whose mom is sick and many others. This has been so awesome for us! I hope to be able to share it with many other churches as a great ministry opportunity.

    1. What a great blessing your cooking group is to those on the receiving end! And yes such a great ministry option as well. Thanks for sharing with us! As we dive deeper in this series would you be interested in sharing some of your knowledge with us for future posts?

  2. This sounds wonderful! I have been thinking about starting a geezer meal club for a while but just didn’t know how to begin. I am so looking forward to more information!!!! Thank you so much!!!

      1. I think a ‘geezer’ meal club would be a good idea too! Senior citizens often have a difficult time cooking for just one or two, resulting in leftovers being thrown away, or not eating balanced meals because it’s too much effort. Getting together to cook and then split up meals into freezable portions would be great.

  3. This is a wonderful idea. I have recently moved to a new community and am slowly making some new friends through my son’s preschool. This sounds like a good solution for me and the other ‘moms with small children.’ Monthly cooking can be hard when I’m trying to do it on my own (even when the husband tries to watch the boys), but perhaps it will be easier with a group of us and give me a chance to get to know some of my new friends a little better. Any suggestions on those with different needs than mine? My family is gluten/dairy free.

    1. Great idea Christie! Group cooking/Swap are a great way to meet friends, break the ice, and help stock your freezer as well! Stay tuned to more in our series in the upcoming weeks! I would suggest setting dietary guidelines before the swap, so everyone knows what to expect

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