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The 10 Best Non-Food Items to Share at a Church Supper

When you hear "church suppers," you probably wonder what to cook! However, there are plenty of other things you can bring. I polled my fellow Field Editors for the best non-food contributions.

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Sharing food togetherMichael Revis/Shutterstock

Loan out Your Crock-Pot

For a potluck-style supper, Debbi Barate of Seward, Pennsylvania, recommends loaning your slow cookers and chafing dishes, so the crew can keep food piping hot. Bringing extra extension cords will also be a huge help.

Use this tip and more to make your church picnic even better than last year’s.

Psst: Here’s how to keep cold foods cold at a potluck.

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a variety of paper disposable plates of different colorsvlaru/Shutterstock

Donate Paper Products

A well-attended church supper will need plenty of plates, napkins and utensils. Several Field Editors recommend bringing these items, as well as garbage bags and disposable gloves for serving food. For the tables, use plastic tablecloths or butcher paper.

Glenna Tooman of Boise, Idaho, likes to pick up serving utensils at the dollar store, as there are never as many on hand as you need!

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view from the top.watering can with flower arrangement.SmartPhotoLab/Shutterstock

Provide the Table Decor

Simple flower arrangements bring so much beauty. Lorraine Hickman of Lansing, Michigan,  likes to have simple bud vases, and Holly Balzer-Harz of Malone, New York suggests creating centerpieces that can be given away as door prizes at the end of the night. Just pick up inexpensive raffle tickets or have folks put their name on slips of paper.

Check out these easy and affordable carnation arrangements.

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happy friends with non alcoholic drinks having barbecue party on rooftop in summer and photographing by smartphoneSyda Productions/Shutterstock

Be the Event Photographer

If you love to be behind the lens, Helen Nelander of Boulder Creek, California, suggests you offer your time to be the official photographer. Have fun moving through the room and capturing candids—the church can share these in newsletters and on boards.

If you are bringing a dish, we have ideas for amazing church supper meals.

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Stacking Banquet Chairs with Seat Cushion.catastrophe_OL/Shutterstock

Volunteer to Help Set Up

There’s so much to do! That’s why Lorraine Hickman says you could offer to assist with the setup. Moving tables and chairs into place, putting trash cans and recycle bins out and laying out the food will be hugely appreciated.

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Group Of Seniors Singing In Choir TogetherSpeedKingz/Shutterstock

Arrange the Entertainment

Do you play guitar? Have a few magic tricks up your sleeve? A little dinner entertainment will be make the evening really special. Marina Castle Kelley of Canyon Country, California, would have her Girl Scout troop provide songs and dancing at church potlucks.

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Close-up shot of two pairs of little hands coloring mandala with felt-tip pens, pencils of different colors and illustrations laid on wooden tablePressmaster/Shutterstock

Create Things for Kids to Do

To make the dinner fun for kids, too, Susan Seymour of Valatie, New York, has a brilliant idea: Create activity bags to hand out that include coloring pages, crayons and small games. You can also organize group games for children, run by teens and youth group members of the church.

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Colorful cold soda drinks, filled ice cubes in a coolboxHayati Kayhan/Shutterstock

Provide the Drinks

Teri Rasey of Cadillac, Michigan, likes to donate bottled water for church suppers, but other drinks like soda, juice and iced tea will be popular choices, too. Kim Spaccarotella of Clark, New Jersey, recommends bringing coffee, tea and packets of sweeteners and creamer.

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Carer Serving Lunch To Senior ManSpeedKingz/Shutterstock

Put Together Plates for Those at Home

For those community members who would love to be there but are home-bound, Susan Seymour has the very thoughtful idea of creating to-go plates or containers of food to be delivered to them.

See our most popular church potluck recipes.

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Hand in protective glove with rag cleaning kitchen equipment in the professional kitchen.FotoDuets/Shutterstock

Do the Part No One Wants to Do

The hardest part of any event is the cleanup, and after big church suppers there is a lot to clean up. Linda Grienke of Winnipeg, Manitoba, points out that this is the part no one wants to do. Help clean, pack up food and put away the tables and chairs to get everyone home a lot sooner!

Nancy Mock
Discovering restaurants, tasting bakery treats, finding inspiration in new flavors and regional specialties—no wonder Nancy loves being a food and travel writer. She and her family live in Vermont and enjoy all things food, as well as the beautiful outdoors, game nights, Avengers movies and plenty of maple syrup. Find Nancy’s writing and recipes at her website: Hungry Enough To Eat Six.

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