Frugal Meals

Serve Your Community as a Frugal Meals Host!

Patterned after the Lenten tradition of having a meager meal and donating the money saved to a charitable organization, the Frugal Meals initiative brings this same concept full circle. How easy would it be to invite guests over for a pot of soup or sandwiches and donate what you would have spent on a lavish meal to benefit others in need? No fine china, no flowers, and no fancy wine or décor. Just good conversation to benefit a great cause!

How to Host a Frugal Meal

  1. Chose a local nonprofit / charitable agency. Looking for ideas of places to support? Find UWCK-funded agencies and their contact information here.
  2. Contact them to see if they’d like to attend or give you a short info page on their services, numbers of people served, etc.
  3. Chose a date during the Lenten Season (between Ash Wednesday and Easter) and time frame for guests to drop by for meal.
  4. Pick up yard sign and alms bowl at United Way of Central Kentucky (604 North Main St, 270-737-6608) or Central Kentucky Community Foundation (306 West Dixie Ave, 270-737-8393).
  5. Email or call up friends to invite.
  6. Prepare simple meal – beans or soup and cornbread, rice pudding or cookie, tea, coffee, and water. No fancy table setting, no flowers, cocktails, wine, appetizers, decadent desserts, – it’s FRUGAL. 
  7. Relax and enjoy fellowship and reflect on what the agency does for others less fortunate.
  8. Have the alms box at the door and invite guests to donate as much or as little as they want (Follow the “How to Handle Donations” instructions below.)
  9. Leave the yard sign up until Easter, then deliver back to UWCK or CKCF.

Questions? Call 270-737-6293 for further information or clarification.

Sample Invitation

I'm extending an invitation to you for dinner at my house on ---date---------. Nothing fancy – it’s a Frugal Meal.  I’ll explain! Our local United Way and Community Foundation have partnered on an initiative – the Frugal Meal Initiative - and I want to participate.  Patterned after the Lenten tradition of having a meager meal and donating your money saved to a charitable organization, I'll prepare a simple meal of beans or soup, cornbread, a simple dessert, water, tea, or coffee and guests can drop by between 5:30 to 7:00 PM, relax, and visit with friends and meet new ones.  The meal will be free but, if you'd like to participate in the spirit of Lent, you can leave an anonymous donation in an alms box at the front door. 

The charitable agency that I’ve chosen is --------------------Attached is information about it -------------------------  a non-profit organization dedicated to helping the poor and disadvantaged.  Their need is great!

Please RSVP to my email -------------------------or call -----------------------------and, if I'm not here, leave a message. My address is ---------------------------

I'm looking forward to donating my time, talent, and treasures during this upcoming Lenten season and welcoming you into our home.  

How to Handle Donations

  1. Pick up the alms bowl and yard sign at the CKCF or UWCK offices.
  2. Let your guests know that anonymous donations can be left in this box at your exit door.
  3. Although UWCK and CKCF are the sponsoring organizations for the Frugal Meal Initiative, 100% will be given to the specific agency, unless UWCK or CKCF is the direct beneficiary.   

If you have an agency rep in attendance:

  • have the rep help you tally the money at the end.  They should look at any checks and add to the total, so you do not know who gave what amount.  They can take the money then but please communicate the total raised to CKCF or UWCK (270-737-6608 or email

If you do not have an agency rep in attendance:     

  • take the box of money to CKCF or UWCK the next day and have a staff member count the money with you.  The staff member should look at any checks and add to the total, so you do not know who gave what amount. Call the agency and tell them how much money they will be receiving.

Contact Information

Carol Jones: 270-737-6293

Central Kentucky Community Foundation: 306 West Dixie Ave, 270-737-8393

United Way of Central Kentucky: 604 North Main St, 270-737-6608