Instruction Book for Volunteering


Transitions Project, Inc. (TPI)


Sponsored by

Portland Pearl Rotary

Table of Contents


Ordering the Food        

Arrival Time and Location        

Preparing the Meal        




Dear Pearl Portland Volunteers,

This instruction book is intended to give you all of the answers that you might ask and to prepare you to have a successful experience.  Through pictures and specific instructions, we hope to get you through the process quickly with a minimum of fuss and mistakes.

We have determined that Taco Salad is a very popular dish with the clients at Transition House.  And since its simplicity for us is an advantage, we have chosen to make this our signature dish.  In later pages you will find the recipe and shopping list.  The experience is a gratifying one that takes little effort and can be a great time to get to know your fellow Rotarians a little better.

Procedures for ordering and preparing the food have changed.  

As an aside, the kitchen is very small and too many people will be a detriment.  The divisions that are published are a very good guideline.  If we put all seven to eight of the volunteers in the kitchen at once it will be chaos

Please plan to park on the street.  It can be difficult to find street parking so please arrive early.

If you have recommendations to make the process go quicker or more efficiently, please speak to me or e-mail me with your wisdom.

Thanks to all who volunteer for this activity.

Don Barney

Community Service


Purchasing the Food

Starting in August of 2016, Roger Devine will start purchasing the food for each Transitions Project meal and delivering it to the Transitions Project facility.  Please plan to have two members of the team available to meet him outside of the facility at 5:00 to help bring the groceries inside.

The shopping list for taco salad is:






Ground Beef Chuck (fresh) 



Shredded Mild Cheddar Cheese



Yellow Onion



Tomatoes (fresh)



Lemonade (or powder equivalent)


#10 cans

Red Kidney Beans (canned)



Corn Tortilla Chips


#10 can

Mild Salsa


25 oz.



24 oz.

McCormick Taco Seasoning



Romaine Hearts


32 oz.

Sour Cream


5 lb.

Frozen Yellow Corn (maybe more?)


#10 can

Sliced Black Olives

If you have suggestions for how to adjust the quantities of any items, please send them to

Roger Devine at: - thanks!

One member of the team should make sure to collect and return the shopping bags to Roger.

Arrival Time and Location

If you are part of Team 1 or Team Two

Arrival Time:5:00 PM

Departure Time: 6:15 PM

If you are on Team Three

Arrival Time:  6:15 PM

Departure Time: 7:30 PM

Transition Projects, Inc. (TPI) at

665 NW Hoyt St, Portland, OR

Use the door on Hoyt Street under “665”.

The first volunteer to arrive needs to log in at the front desk. The group’s log-in code is, 7719. Use the touch-screen computer at the front desk at the beginning and end of their meal. Our name is Farhad.  Enter the total number for the group 6, not just yourself. Even though your group tends to come in shifts.

The last volunteer to leave needs to sign out at the front desk. The RA’s can help if there is any confusion.


Preparing the Meal


  1. Please have the staff in charge immediately start the pilot under the grill and turn on the water to fill the steam table.  Although gas heat, both these units take at least 20 minutes to arrive at useful heat.  To cook the corn, we may learn we need to start the oven immediately too. 
  2. In a large stockpot start cooking the taco seasoning according to package directions. 
  3. Chop all the LARGE ONIONS into small pieces or use the blender.
  4. On the stove top fry surface:
  1. When the ground beef is cooked, transfer the ground beef to a large pot, draining some of the liquid in the process.
  2. Add the taco seasoning per the package directions and continue cooking.  (You won’t use all of the seasoning prepared in Step 2.)
  3. Unbag and sort the remaining delivery items. Set up at work sites.
  1. Chop the tomatoes into small pieces, chop lettuce.
  2. Heat frozen corn in oven.
  3. Open the cans of olives and kidney beans and drain.
  4. Heat the beans in the oven.



At the serving table set up the ingredients in the following order, Right to Left:

  1. Box of latex serving gloves
  2. Tortilla Chips
  3. Cooked ground beef with taco seasoning
  4. Kidney beans
  5. Corn
  6. Cheese
  7. Lettuce
  8. Tomatoes
  9. Olives
  10. Salsa
  11. Sour cream

Select the right size serving ladle or spoon to help the server portion the servings equitable.  Don’t use a large spoon or ladle for a topping that has half the quantity of the meat. Use a spoon for salsa, sour cream, tomatoes, olives, beans, corn.

On the serving trolley, carry the beverage dispenser and the beverage out and put on one of the dining tables.  Decant the beverage into the server on the table where it will be served, to reduce heavy lifting of the filled beverage server.


Before you start serving, verify with the reception desk the number of late meals to be saved.  Prepare the late meals and cover them with plastic before starting the regular service

  1. Start the plate by offering a small handful of chip, slightly crushed. (Be sensitive to guests who may not be able to chew the taco chips – don’t assume that everyone will want chips.)
  2. Add a scoop of ground beef mixture, (use an ice cream scoop)
  3. Add an amount of cheddar cheese (tongs)
  4. Add a handful of lettuce
  5. Add chopped tomatoes (small ladle)


(The following ingredients are added if the diner wishes.  Many have varying tastes and we bow to their wishes.) Small Ladle

  1. Corn
  2. Olives
  3. Kidney beans
  4. Salsa
  5. Sour cream

 You may want to experiment with the personnel line-up but this seems to work OK.

1st  person         Plate, chips and ground beef

2nd person         Cheese and lettuce

3rd person         Olives and kidney beans

4th person          Salsa and sour cream


Each person does their function and then passes the plate to the next and so on until the plate is handed to the diner.


Cookies are put out on the serving table once all the dinners have been served.

Once everyone has gone through the line, some guests will come back for seconds.  It is relatively rare for someone to show up late without asking for a late meal, first.


Clean up is done by the residents at the Transitions Project.  When all have been fed, the team can leave.  The managers may ask that you prepare several plates for late comers and those that are involved in meetings off premises.  They can be left on the prep table in the middle of the kitchen.

Please leave aprons??? >> We need instructions on where to place dirty aprons.

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