Contract: Partner Meal Service Coordinator, Hub of Hope

Posted by City of Philadelphia on August 13, 2018

for a
Partner Meal Service Coordinator, Hub of Hope
the Office of Homeless Services

Proposals must be received on Friday, August 17th, 2018
Proposals can be submitted to

I. Project Overview
A. Introduction and Statement of Purpose
The Hub of Hope is an 11,000 square foot, first-of-its-kind daytime engagement center for individuals experiencing homelessness and food insecurity, located in the sub-concourse near SEPTA’s Suburban Station. The Hub of Hope is operated by Project HOME, and is designed to serve as a venue for volunteer and faith-based groups, otherwise known as Guest Meal and Hospitality Providers, to prepare and serve meals indoors in a safe and dignified setting nested with services.
The Office of Homeless Services (OHS) is seeking to identify a qualified non-profit 501(c)(3) organization to serve as the Partner Meal Service Coordinator. The Partner Meal Service Coordinator will assume responsibility for the recruitment, support, and management of the Guest Meal and Hospitality Providers under contract to Philabundance, the Meal Manager and Nutrition, Safety, and Production Coordinator.

OHS encourages interested, qualified non-profit entities to respond to this request for Letters of Interest.

B. Overview
Engaging community-based meal providers, hereafter referred to as Guest Meal and Hospitality Providers, in a service-rich, indoor hub designed to meet the needs of people experiencing street homelessness represents a unique and innovative partnership between city government, a homeless service provider (Project HOME), and a hunger relief organization (Philabundance). The role of the Partner Meal Service Coordinator is new and requires a unique blend of commitment to alleviating hunger, skilled engagement and support of volunteers, and sensitivity to both the guests and partners working collaboratively to meet their range of needs.

The partners and roles are described below.

Office of Homeless Services (OHS) is the project manager and funder. Its mission is to make homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring by working collaboratively with 63 (mostly not-for-profit) homeless housing and service providers, City departments, state and federal governmental entities that comprise Philadelphia’s homeless service system. Today OHS has expanded its work to reducing food insecurity by supporting the Philadelphia Food Access Collaborative and by supporting evening and weekend meals provision nested within the service offerings of the Hub of Hope.

Philabundance is the Delaware Valley’s largest hunger relief organization, acquiring, rescuing and distributing food to 90,000 people weekly in 9 counties in PA and NJ. Of the people Philabundance serves, 30% percent are children and 16% percent are seniors. Others who seek food assistance include people with disabilities, single parents, veterans, students, and working-class families.

Philabundance serves in a dual role in the Hub of Hope. It is both is the Meal Manager and the Nutrition, Safety, and Production Coordinator for the meals. It will hold the contract with the Partner Meal Service Coordinator.

Project HOME is the founder and operator of the Hub of Hope. Its mission is to empower adults, children, and families to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty, to alleviate the underlying causes of poverty, and to enable all of us to attain our fullest potential as individuals and as members of the broader society. They strive to create a safe and respectful environment where we support each other in our struggles for self-esteem, recovery, and the confidence to move toward self-actualization.

C. Project Background
As a city, we have struggled for decades to ensure that all Philadelphians have secure access to nutritious foods and vital services in healthy settings. To combat hunger for some of the most vulnerable individuals, we must figure out how to best support individuals who seek emergency meals in a congregant setting in a way that preserves their individual dignity and puts them on a pathway to greater autonomy, leverages the good intentions of people looking to serve these individuals, and strengthens the community around these meal sites.

At the same time, many volunteer and faith-based groups are called to feed those experiencing food insecurity and homelessness, and often do so in parks, plazas, and encampments. This drive to charity is one of the hallmarks of Philadelphia as a caring community. However, outdoor meals also create challenges such as trash and vermin. They can provide little opportunity for both the people feeding and eating to break bread together at a table in a dignified fashion. There is little assurance that the food meets safety and quality standards. It is also difficult to connect individuals to other needed services.

In January of 2018, Philadelphia took a leap forward in this effort by launching the Hub of Hope, an engagement center located in an underground area commonly known as the Broad Street Sub-Concourse North, neighboring the basement of the Municipal Services Building (1431 Sub-Concourse John F. Kennedy Boulevard). The Hub of Hope provides shower and laundry facilities, medical care assessment and referral, initial counseling and referral services, meals, and other services for individuals experiencing homelessness or who are in deep poverty. Project HOME is responsible for the overall management of the Hub of Hope and the delivery of services such as case management, showers, laundry (not related to meal service laundry), healthcare, and many other services.

The Hub of Hope today is a venue for community-based meal providers to come indoors to advance their mission of providing food to those who are hungry, and to do so in a venue where people can sit at a table in a way that is more dignified than eating on the street.

Philabundance, working in partnership with the Office of Homeless Services and Project HOME, has assumed responsibility for meal operations in the Hub of Hope – while providing the opportunity for community-based meal providers to actually prepare and serve the meals.

This meal service is comprised of two functional areas: 1) “back of the house” – coordinating the menu, the actual food preparation, and the transport from the kitchen where it is cooked to the Hub of Hope; and 2) “front of the house,” actually serving the meal to guests.

Philabundance has a dual role:
1. Meal Manager – They will contract with the chosen nonprofit entity that will serve as Partner Meal Service Coordinator, to manage the “front of the house” funded by the Office of Homeless Services for the Hub of Hope.
2. Nutrition, Safety and Production Coordinator – They carry out the “back of the house” functions: ensuring that the menu is varied, attractive, filling, and nutritious, assisting with the procurement of food, ensuring that the preparation of the meals and their delivery to the Hub of Hope meets ServSafe requirements, that a suitable commercial kitchen is used in meal prep, and that the transport and storage of meals meets health standards. Their role is to support and work with interested community-based meal providers to ensure that nutrition and food safety standards are upheld in every meal.

The Office of Homeless Services seeks a qualified nonprofit to serve as the Partner Meal Service Coordinator to manage and coordinate this “front of the house” role. This nonprofit Partner Meal Service Coordinator will assume responsibility for working with community-based meal providers, recruiting and coordinating volunteers to cook and serve, setting up the space for meal service, greeting, engaging with, and serving the guests, cleaning up after the meal, and coordinating donations of leftover food.

Meal service at the Hub of Hope is currently operating every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 4 pm to 6 pm. Dinners will expand to Mondays starting in October, and Thursdays starting in December. All meals are operated every week, 52 weeks of the year. The term of the contract for selected Partner Meal Coordinator is expected to be October 1st, 2018 to June 30th, 2019.

Request for Letters of Interest
OHS seeks to identify a qualifying 501(c)(3) organization to serve as the Partner Meal Service Coordinator at the Hub of Hope. The ideal organization will have a mission that addresses hunger and/or homelessness, have a demonstrated ability to work in partnership with others in the development and delivery of programs, experience and expertise in managing volunteers, and providing services and/or meals to people experiencing homelessness.

A qualified non-profit organization is an entity in which:
– No part of the net earnings inures to the benefit of any member, founder, contributor, or individual;
– There is a volunteer board;
– There is a functioning accounting system that is operated in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, or has designated a fiscal agent that will maintain a functioning accounting system for the organization in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles;
– Nondiscrimination is practiced in the provision of services.

D. General Disclaimer
This request for letters of interest does not commit the City of Philadelphia to award a contract. No other party, including any Applicant, is intended to be granted any rights hereunder. Any response, including written documents and verbal communication, by any Applicant to this request for Letters of Interest, shall become the property of the City and may be subject to public disclosure by the City, or any authorized agent of the City. The City is not liable for any costs incurred by Applicants in preparing and submitting a proposal in response to this request or for any costs and expenses incurred in meeting with, or making oral presentations to the City if so requested.

II. Scope of Work
A. Project Details
The goals of the work of the Hub of Hope Partner Meal Service Coordinator are to:
1. Increase access to meals provided in a safe and dignified setting;
2. Ensure that Guest Meal and Hospitality Providers are welcome and supported;
3. Engage Guest Meal and Hospitality Providers in the preparation and service of meals to the guests of the Hub of Hope, including coordinating volunteers to prepare and transport the meals and to serve them to the guests;
4. Ensure that Guest Meal and Hospitality Providers’ meals are cooked and served as scheduled to guests seated at tables in a dignified and hospitable manner;
5. Facilitate building additional connections for guests to needed social and health services;
6. Ensure that guests are treated with respect;
7. Work collaboratively with Project HOME Hub of Hope staff and volunteers.

B. Services and Tangible Work Products
The Partner Meal Service Coordinator is responsible for Partner Supported Meal Service Operation, a meal program that works with community-based meal providers to serve guests with a hospitable experience and promote a sense of community, security, and inclusion for all. This includes:
1. Working directly with Guest Meal and Hospitality Providers to have a sense of engagement and ownership of the meal service, and ensuring that each partner is recognized at the meal site for participation (this includes but is not limited to managing signage displaying what organization is hosting the meal, etc.);
2. Providing personnel and/or volunteers for on-site meal prep (heating or refrigeration, plating) and on-site meal service (serving different courses, refilling water, bussing tables) to supplement program partners’ volunteers;
3. Training all partners and volunteers in a system of tableside meal service, with the goals of eliminating the need to wait in line for food;
4. Overseeing each meal space set up and break down, including the setup of tables and chairs and returning these items to the storage area when service is complete. The tables and chairs will be provided and stored on-site;
5. Supervising Guest Meal and Hospitality Providers and volunteers during meal service to provide pre-portioned meals served tableside to multiple seatings of guests with the intent of ensuring every guest is served;
6. Ensuring the availability of plates, utensils, napkins, and other dry/durable goods used during meal service;
7. Implementing a meal reservation system as needed to ensure guests are served hospitably and no one needs to wait in line for a meal (e.g., through the establishment of second seating space for people waiting for meals);
8. Overseeing the cleaning of the kitchen and dining area after meal services (including plates, utensils, and other goods used in meal production, and returning all items to their proper place);
9. Providing cleaning supplies, including chemicals for dishwashing equipment;
10. Collecting linens after each meal for linen service and delivering them to the laundry service off-site;
11. Overseeing the delivery of all meal-related trash to the trash room one floor above the Hub of Hope;
12. Overseeing the process of utilizing leftovers in coordination with Hub of Hope staff;
13. Ensuring regular maintenance and repair of kitchen and dining equipment;
14. Ensuring the replacement of tables and chairs as necessary;
15. Adhering to and updating Hub of Hope Meal Operation Guidelines to ensure consistency in meal service operations, keeping in mind the collaboration with program partners, and integration of future community-based meal providers;
16. Coordinating and working in partnership with Philabundance and Project HOME on schedule, protocols, and all aspects of meal service.

The City of Philadelphia will be responsible for raising awareness of the meal operations in the Hub of Hope and recruiting organizations to participate. Philabundance and the selected Partner Meal Service Coordinator will participate in those activities, but will not be expected to lead them. Once an community-based meal provider has expressed significant interest in providing meals for the meal services, Philabundance and the selected Partner Meal Service Coordinator will lead efforts to integrate them into the meal schedule and service.

Coordination of Services — Project HOME will be responsible for the overall management of the Hub of Hope and the delivery of services such as case management, showers, laundry (not related to meal service laundry), healthcare, and many other services. Strong communication with Project HOME staff will be vital to the success of the meal operation. The selected Partner Meal Service Coordinator will be responsible for working with Project HOME to determine a communications structure (including frequency of meetings), providing updated information on the meal schedule and activities, volunteer recruitment, managing requests for other services by meal guests, and addressing challenges as they arise. Philabundance and the selected Partner Meal Service Coordinator staff shall follow all reasonable directions of Project HOME personnel.

Other Activities — For all food served at the Hub of Hope through the meal services program, the selected Partner Meal Service Coordinator shall comply with Executive Order 04-14: Nutrition Standards, which states:
1. All food and beverage purchased, prepared, or served, including those purchased, or served by the Provider or a Subcontractor at any tier, in connection with this Contract shall comply with the nutrition standards and guidelines promulgated by the City of Philadelphia Health Commissioner, which are publicly available on the City Department of Public Health’s website at:
2. Waiver.
a) To the minimum extent necessary, the Provider and Subcontractors at any tier may obtain a partial or complete waiver of the requirements of this section from the Health Commissioner upon a showing that compliance with the nutrition standards referenced in this section would result in a loss of state or federal government funding or upon a finding necessitating a waiver. Approval of all extenuating circumstances waivers shall be solely within the discretion of the Health Commissioner or his/her designee and partial waivers shall be favored over complete waivers.
b) Other notice requirements in this Contract notwithstanding, all requested waivers of this section shall be made in writing and delivered via email to:
c) Waivers shall be effective upon receipt of written approval from the Health Commissioner or his/her designee and only for a period of one (1) year or until the end of the then current contract term, whichever comes first.

Reporting Requirements
The selected Partner Meal Service Coordinator will be expected to report on a regular basis the status of the project and its progress in providing the contracted services and/or products. The organization shall submit a monthly invoice detailing the services and/or products provided; the goals/tasks accomplished, associated costs, and outside funds leveraged; quantitative information on number of partnerships developed, meals served, services provided, volunteers/partners engaged; and qualitative information on successes and challenges.

III. Proposal Format, Content, and Submission Requirements; Selection Process
A. Proposal Format
The following are submission requirements for this request for letters of interest. Please provide items 1 through 4 as a single document that is no more than 5 pages.
1. Response to Anticipated Services and Tangible Work Product
Explain your organization’s proposed approach to the delivery of congregant meals in a dignified setting with associated services, and how your approach would advance the goals laid out in the request for Letters of Interest, including proposed staffing plan, volunteer recruitment, support, training, and volunteer management plan, proposed meal service and guest treatment protocol, and approach to partnership. A description of challenges and key strategies — based on your understanding of this initiative and the landscape of Philadelphia, describe any challenges you forsee and how you would mitigate those challenges. Please affirm your ability to operate an evening meal service operation from 2:30 pm to 7 pm, up to 7 days per week, 52 weeks of the year.
2. Organization Profile
Provide a description of your organization, mission, and experience that demonstrates your qualifications for the role of Partner Meal Service Coordinator.
3. General Cost Estimates
Provide a budget and budget narrative estimating expenses in different areas. Please include information about specific additional resources that could be leveraged for this initiative. The submission should indicate confirmed and potential sources of support, including the level and degree of commitment.
4. Estimated Timeframe
We intend for the selected Partner Meal Service Coordinator to start supporting meals beginning on Monday, October 1st, and to manage the complete operation effective October 15th, 2018.
Proposals can be submitted to by Friday, August 17th, 2018

I. Selection Process
The Office of Homeless Services will evaluate responses based on criteria that include, but are not limited to:
– Capacity to carry out the services and deliverables described in the request for letters of interest;
– Financial wherewithal;
– Quality of proposed approach;
– Experience and expertise with partnerships;
– Eligibility under Code provisions relating to campaign contributions;
– Superior quality, efficiency, and fitness of proposed solution;
– Superior skill and reputation, including timeliness and demonstrable results;
– Special benefit to continuing services of incumbent, such as operational difficulties with transition or needs of population being served;
– Benefit of promoting long-term competitive development and allocation of experience to new or small businesses, including those owned by minority or disabled persons or by women; and
– Administrative and operational experience and expertise.

IV. Proposal Administration
A. Questions Relating to the request for Letters of Interest
All questions concerning this request for Letters of Interest must be submitted in writing to Jo Lin at no later than Friday, July 27th, 2018 and may not be considered if not received by then. The City will respond to questions it considers appropriate to the request for Letters of Interest and of interest to all Applicants, but reserves the right, in its discretion, not to respond to any question. The City reserves the right, in its discretion, to revise responses to questions after posting, by posting the modified response. No oral response to any Applicant question by any City employee or agent shall be binding on the City or in any way considered to be a commitment by the City.

B. Term of Contract
It is anticipated that the initial term of the Contract shall commence on October 1st, 2018 and, unless sooner terminated by the City pursuant to the terms of the Contract, shall expire up to ten months thereafter, on June 30th, 2019. The City may, at its sole option, amend the Contract to add up to three (3) additional successive one-year terms (“Additional Terms”). Except as may be stated otherwise in such amendment, the terms and conditions of this Contract shall apply throughout each Additional Term.

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