Our church has hosted a community gathering meal for years now, maybe even a decade. It's a free meal once a week and anyone who wants to come, may. The idea is to build bridges in the community, to get away from a soup-kitchen mentality, to focus on community (Mennonites are big on community). Church members and neighbors come, as well as people who don't have enough money or food on their own.
Once a year, I volunteer to coordinate the meal with my Sunday School class as my crew. I decided a menu four years ago. It is nourishing, easy to assemble, makes trouble-free leftovers, and uses local foods, so I haven't changed the menu at all.
1 baked potato
2/3 cup homemade chili (on top)
2 Tbsp. grated cheese (on top)
1 cup steamed broccoli
apple slices or a whole apple
piece of homemade cake
milk, coffee, and/or water
We prepare food for 200, but last week, we only served 159, so there were some leftovers. Today I'm shredding potatoes to freeze. They are delicious fried up as hashbrowns at breakfast, or used in all the homey casseroles that call for a bag of "frozen hashbrowns." I'm experimenting with freezing cooked potato cubes as well, thinking of cottage potatoes.
It's also become sort of a tradition to have creamed broccoli leaves on biscuits for breakfast at our house a few days after the community meal. I can't bear to compost the broccoli leaves, the most nutritious part of the vegetable, but they're not appetizing to the general public and way too many for me to eat by myself.