For the women at On The Rise, a home-cooked and hearty meal enjoyed in a safe home is invaluable. We rely on the kind hearts and culinary talents of volunteers to cook a meal in their kitchen and deliver to ours.

This volunteer opportunity is available 6 days a week and fills one of our greatest needs by being able to offer a home-cooked meal to a woman who otherwise would not have many options.

Don't shy away from this opportunity even if you don’t consider yourself a cook; store bought and pre-made items are also welcome.  As the women are as diverse as their palates, you choose what you would like to make; it is sure to be appreciated and enjoyed! To respect the privacy of our women, volunteers do not serve lunch at On The Rise. We set up family-style lunch in our comfy kitchen and women help themselves.

Lunch FAQs:

I want to cook a lunch! How do I sign up?

  • Volunteers self schedule for a lunch on Meal Train. Dates in blue mean a person has already signed up to cook a lunch for that day. Dates in green are available for lunch! Simply click on the day and register! You'll get a reminder email one week before your scheduled date as well as a one day before reminder.

Am I cooking at On The Rise?

  • No. Volunteer lunch cooks prepare lunch in their homes and deliver the meal to On The Rise.

What should I make? How much?

  • Current favorites of the women are hearty soups, meat & veggie stews, chowder, chicken & rice, pork loin, beef chili, stir fry, pasta (lasagna, spaghetti with meatballs), shepherd's pie, chili and tacos.

  • With close to 20 women served on average each day, lunch should be enough to serve 15-20 people.

  • Need some guidance on how much food is enough? Check out this food quantity chart for help!

When do I drop off lunch?

  • Lunch drop-off is between 8am-11am to 341 Broadway, Cambridge, MA on the day of your assigned lunch day. We have limited parking in our back lot which can be accessed via Inman St. When you arrive, you can pull into the back lot and give our office a call at 617-497-7968 or you can come around front and ring the door bell and one of our amazing advocates will assist you with carrying lunch inside.

What if I’m running late?

  • If you are running late and unable to deliver lunch by 11am, please call Development & Engagement Coordinator, Brie Silva at 617-497-7968 ex. 36 so staff can be alerted.

Can I drop my lunch off a day early?

  • Yes! If you need to adjust your delivery to the day before, please call us at 617-497-7968 or email Madison Porter, Development & Engagement Associate at to let us know! And we will try to work something out!

What if I want my containers back?

  • We encourage using disposable containers. But if you'd like your dishes back, please label items with your name and we'll have them cleaned and ready for you to pick up at a later date. Just call our office at 617-497-7968.

Anything I shouldn't do?

  • At On The Rise, we serve lunch buffet style. Please do not serve lunch already portioned. We want women to be able to choose what they would like to eat, thank you!

  • To protect the privacy of the women we serve, we ask that you kindly deliver the lunch to one of our amazing advocates and refrain from entering our home at 341 Broadway.

  • Please refrain from cooking with alcohol.

Should I include an ingredients list?

  • Yes! Please label ingredients so women can make a healthy choice for themselves. Especially if a woman has an allergy or dietary restriction.

Do I include instructions to reheat food?

  • Yes! Provide instructions if we need to reheat your lunch. Please do not deliver raw or uncooked items. Kindly check meat to ensure it's cooked all the way through.

Is there anything other than food I should bring?

  • Nope! At On The Rise, we have a fully equipped kitchen with an oven, microwave, fridge, utensils, plates — the works! No need to supply anything additional for lunch (unless you want to!) If you’d like to bring breakfast items for the next day in addition to lunch, we are happy to accept them!

Any questions, contact Brie Silva, Development & Engagement Coordinator at or 617-497-7968 x36.