Taste of Hope Guidelines

You can help give families a Taste of Hope by preparing and serving a meal at Cincinnati’s Ronald McDonald House. Come together with your coworkers, family, friends, church or civic group while you help provide the nutrition kids need to heal and allow parents more time to focus on their critically ill children.

Participation Guidelines

Groups of 4 to 12 volunteers can prepare and serve a meal. Please do not bring along additional helpers as we will not have “extra” jobs for them.

Children under 16 will not be permitted in the kitchen.

*If the number in your group changes for any reason, please notify us as soon as possible at 513-636-2760 so we can make any adjustments to the meal planned for your group.


Each group who participates in our Taste of Hope program makes a tax-deductible donation to our House to help provide the meal and support the program. The donation amounts are as follows:

  • $350 for weekday lunch
  • $500 for weekend brunch
  • $500 for all dinners

Payment for all Taste of Hope meals can be made via credit card or electronic check only.

A letter with your tax receipt for the full amount of your meal donation will be mailed to the individual or corporation on the credit card/electronic checking account used to reserve the meal. If everyone in your group is providing a portion of the donation and would like individual tax receipts, please complete our Tax Receipts for Individuals form and email it to foodandfun@rmhouse.org prior to serving your meal.

Cancellation Policy

To cancel a reservation more than eight days prior to your booked meal, please contact us foodandfun@rmhouse.org or 513-636-2760. If you must cancel within one week of your meal, we will be unable to refund your donation. Our staff and House volunteers will make sure your gift still provides a warm meal for healing children and weary parents on the scheduled meal date and time. Exceptions may be made for inclement weather at the discretion of Ronald McDonald House.


Day-Of Experience

Please stay home if there is a chance you might be sick. As many of our children have suppressed immune systems, all volunteers should be healthy and free of any flu-like symptoms, fever or exposure to any infectious disease.

Please wear closed-toe shoes with rubber soles, and do not wear sandals or high heels. We also ask that long hair be pulled back, or we can provide you with a hair net. We will also provide gloves.

Expect to be with us for 4 hours. Please plan on the following time commitments to bring a Taste of Hope to our families. This includes food prep, serving, eating and clean-up.

LUNCH (only served on weekdays)
Serving Time: 12:00 noon
Time Commitment: 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

BRUNCH (only served on weekends)
Serving Time: 10:00 a.m.
Time Commitment: 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon

Serving Time: 6:00 p.m.
Time Commitment: 4:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Unfortunately, we cannot break the experience up into smaller shifts. All volunteers should remain from start to finish.

After serving our families, all Taste of Hope volunteers will be able to sit down and enjoy the wonderful meal they have prepared!

General Guidelines for the Day

  • Meal group volunteers should remain in the kitchen or lobby at all times unless accompanied by a tour guide.
  • Volunteers may not enter a guest’s room.
  • For everyone’s safety, volunteers cannot be left unattended with any child who resides at our House. Volunteers may not take responsibility for supervising or caring for the children of House guests in the absence of a parent or guardian.
  • Ronald McDonald House welcomes families from across the country and around the world, drawing guests from many different backgrounds. We welcome a variety of faiths and beliefs. Engaging in any type of religious solicitation is prohibited.
  • There is no smoking or tobacco use permitted on Ronald McDonald House property.


Frequently Asked Questions

Will our experience include a tour?

Absolutely! We will gladly show everyone around our House with an organized tour.

Will I be able to interact with the families?

Yes, once all guest families have been through the serving line, meal volunteers are welcome to serve themselves and join our families in the dining area. While the dining area will have many siblings and families enjoying the meal, the majority of patients are either inpatient at Cincinnati Children’s or, due to their treatment protocol, are isolated to their room in the House.

May I take photographs or video when our group is at the House?

Of course! Pictures in our common areas or grounds are welcome.  Out of respect for their privacy, photos of our guest families are not permitted without their written consent.

May we bring a gift for the families?

The time and energy you are putting towards your Taste of Hope meal is already a wonderful gift to our families! However, if you would like to bring an additional item, we ask that there are enough for each of our 78 rooms. To protect the health of the children, we are unable to accept previously used items. All items must be new and unopened.

Can I prepare a meal at home and bring it in?

Our Taste of Hope program has been specially designed to offer our guest families nutritious meals that best meet the needs of those who stay here. Meal plans are created to ensure families have a balanced diet throughout the week. Therefore, individuals who wish to prepare a meal must do so following our menu and prepare it at the House.

Can restaurants/catering companies provide a meal?

If you are a restaurant or catering company that would like to serve a meal, please contact us at 513-636-2760.

Can the media cover our visit?

Due to the number of generous groups and companies that support our Taste of Hope program, Ronald McDonald House is unable to contact the media regarding a particular meal. Individual groups are welcome to reach out to the media, but we ask that you please inform us that you have reached out to them so we can be sure we can provide you and the media the best support during your time here.


Thank you for making a difference in the lives of our guest families by providing a Taste of Hope! For questions, please contact our team at foodandfun@rmhouse.org or 513.636.2760.