What do you do for food?

(couldn’t find a forum that this should be under, so sorry if i mis-posted)

We are starting to realize that feeding 20-30 people everyday is a very complex logistic problem, and unless we find a way to buy in bulk, very expensive…

How do your teams deal with this?
Do you go eat in groups?
order food in?
do you have deals with local food suppliers?
how do you pay?
from which money?

I would like to solve this problem ASAP.

We basically go broke trying to feed each other out of our own pockets… It creates a special bond between cranky FIRSTies… Or maybe we’ll order pizza or something… nothing big

do you eat lunch and dinner? (we stay each day until 23:00ish…)

What our team does is every Student and College Student Brings in 5 Dollars and we get pizza or other food and the left over money goes towards the next meeting’s food.

There’s a nearby Chinese food place with an Italian place right next door. Both places are extremely affordable: A full sized meal plate (which usually leaves me with leftovers) only costs about $5.50. Then we get some soda and chips from a nearby grocery store, and everyone pays for their share.

Hmm, there’s also a nearby Subway; we should order one of those 5 foot grinders some time :cool:

Nah… we kinda just eat whenever we feel like it, or whenever a massive amount of us is hungry… We live on Moxie and stale food… It’s quite lovely.

We ask our parents to make a meal for a night. They sign up for at least one meal during the six weeks, and are obliged for that day to provide one meal that will feed all of the students, mentors and advisors. Some sign up for two even! It is a big success. On the days we don’t have a meal being brought in, we carpool and go out to get food on our own. We make sure we have money just in case anything happens.

We either pack into small chinese reastruants, order pizza or split up and eat on our own. Our best engineers dont seem to need food. I think they get nutrition from chain greese.


Here is what my team does: every student has to pay a dinner fee each month about $40, that covers food all month for all meetings, parents are asked to cook or provide food once during the season and they are given a day or even week they provide food. also we go out to food places and ask for sponsorships not of money but for food or for even a price break on the food for us to have them as a sponsor. If anyone has any questions or would like some help on going about doing that e-mail me at [email protected] or PM me.

I’d be happy to give you some information, but it really varies with team. I’ll split up this post into 3 categories: Long meetings, events, and competition.

Long Meetings
For regular meetings, it isn’t hard for people just to bring their own food or eat before hand. However, longer meetings on 461 are “BYOL” in many cases. Team members may bring their own lunch, and there is a microwave and refridgerator available in the office next to the lab so that they can heat or store any food they need. It isn’t a bad idea for members who are there a lot to prepurchase a large amount of frozen dinners. Not exactly healthy, but effective. For the post-kickoff strategy session, we got pizza ordered in because a team from a different area watched it with us. Pizza for a large amoutn of people is fairly realistic. Assume about 2 pieces per person, including advisors. The team should pay for pizza, or maybe charge $1 per student for it if really necessary. Students provide their own drinks.

Most events have food already covered, but if your team is working in any sort of volunteer thing and doesn’t have food available, going to a cafeteria or a fast food restaurant is a fairly simple option to get people fed. Pizza usually also wins out in this case, cause most everybody can eat a cheese pizza. If they are lactose intolerant, you can arrange to get them something else. Remember to make a sheet of the food preferences of your team members. Some people are vegetarian, others may keep strict kosher, others may have allergies. This is an effective tool for managing food in all circumstances. A good idea if you’re doing a post season party is to have certain people provide 1 liter or pop or juice each to make drinks easier to manage (such as at a pizza party). If you go to any restaurant where people order their own food, they also order and pay for their own drink. If pizza is ordered, the team should pay.

This one is probably what you’re most worried about. At a regional event, you will find many vendors selling various types of very expensive food. Students should probably pay for any of their own snack expenses at a regional. Our team sometimes goes out to lunch during the regional if there is time and if there is food nearby. On those occasions, members pay their own way. However, if there isn’t much time, it is also good for the team to pay for some pizza to eat on the bus. Some venues won’t allow you to bring outside food in. The team shouldn’t have to pay for snacks out of its budget, just make sure that you make clear to everyone what the expectations are.

At the Championship Event/Nationals (whatever you like to call it), your team may either purchase the FIRST competition package (including hotels, party entrance fee, and dining dollars) or arrange your own stuff. The competition package in my experience is very effective. Dining dollars are provided to give some number per person per day. These are spendable in the Georgia Dome or other venue and some stores nearby. They are awesome. However, if your team chooses not to purchase the package, you may arragne for students to fundraise ahead of time and then have an amoutn of money handed out to everybody. You should discuss this with your food coordinators, if you aren’t one.

Edit: Also, many companies (food) offer highly reduced rates for large groups (based on the amount of food you order).
Good luck!

  • Genia

see we work really late we work from 5:30-6 to 10 its never ten its always like 11 12 or somthing outragious like 4

yeah well our team over in hauppauge NY well we buy Chinese every night. and they give us free stuff.::they should really sponsor us::
either that or we shall eat our killer Raman noodles every night. hooray for the vegans woooooot!!!

During the week we meet 5:30 to 8:30. Everyone eats before they come. Students sometimes bring in bags of chips or cookies. They are stored in a cabinet and we pull out little each night for snack :slight_smile: It is just on a system that if no food in cabinet no snack.

For our Saturday meetings (8-4) Sometimes Donuts show up in the morning sometimes not.
For lunch though we pass around a sign up sheet at the kickoff and each family sign up for one thing in the 6 weeks. (Main Dish, Dessert, Drinks, Appetizer, etc.) so then each family does a little bit over the build season. We also have the rule now that no family can make the same thing over the 6 weeks. If we didn’t set that we would have Hot Dogs and Sloppy Joes a lot :ahh:

For extra Sunday meetings we order out. Some examples would be Pizza and Subs. All students then chip in $5 to cover costs normally.

$7.99 for 10 tacos at taco bell. so if evryone brings $4 each, sumone runs up to tacobell and brings a lot of tacos back. everyone gets enough food, and is happy, works for a small team like us. oh, and bring your own drinks / waterfountain works. and if you are broke, you get no food. :smiley:

Cyber Blue, same as many other teams I’m sure, usually have the students eat before they come. Our meetings are from 5:30-8(Usually 9) every weekday. However, to get some team bonding, every Wednesday we start our meetings at 5. We have an organization made up of parents called the Cyber Blue Parent Crew who bring in a home cooked meal for the whole team each Wednesday. On the weekends, the Parent Crew yet again comes through and usually provides a meal for us for lunch on Saturday. Each student on the team is required to bring in one 24 pack of something for the team to drink on Wednesdays, weekends, and other nights. At competitions, for lunch, our lovely Parent Crew comes through yet again and provide us with sandwiches, drinks, and usually some sort of a treat. It has worked out very well for us.

The parents of the students on my team take turns bringing food in for dinner. We meet Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. On the weekdays the parent assigned to bring food would bring dinner for everyone. On Saturday the parent assigned to bring food would just bring in something for us to munch on. Last year we had about twenty students on the team and each parent brought food about twice throughout the season. Sometimes they would just bring in food from McDonalds or Taco Bell, but a lot of parents would actually cook for us.

Our meetings are from three to six every day during the week and we don’t have weekend meetings scheduled, so food isn’t an issue for us.

Then again, that all goes out the window during the end of build season, winter break in particular. Because we’ve never had a real need for one, 818 doesn’t have a structured food plan. Sending out someone that can drive to get fast food, pizza, and/or doughnuts tends to work well enough, though. :slight_smile:

We start meetings at 5p.m. every night but we rarely bring in food for everyone. Kids are expected to either eat beforehand or (if they have stayed after school) they can leave as they please to go home or to a restaurant to eat. Waiting until the end of a meeting is not always a very good idea, since we’ve been known to work continously until 10:30 or 11 at night in the school. On occasion, I’ll bring a couple of kids with me to Little Ceasars and buy a bunch of $5 pizzas and crazy bread. If necessary, we split the cost, otherwise i’m more than willing to foot the bill.

116 has parents bring lunch in on the weekends. Weeknights we usually only meet from 7-10, extending to 6-11ish, so it is eat before you come. Local pizza places will give us $5 large pizzas (PapaJohns, Dominos), and Chic-Fil-A gives us lots of free sandwiches and nuggets from time to time as well.


We have our meetings set up so that only two per week go over dinner, except for the first and, sometimes, last week, when we have five that go over emal time. We ask parents to volunteer to bring enough for about thirty to eat. We filled the entire list in one night.

At competitions, we pay out of our robotics fund from our extra fundraising money for lunches, and everyone pays for their own dinners. The hotels usually provide breakfast. At nationals lunch is paid for too.

At special meetings intended to go over dinner, but ont one of the weekly meetings, people just bring enough to chip in for pizza. I wouldn’t do this too often though - not only is it mroe expenisve, you get VERY sick of pizza.

no you dont :smiley: