How do we ask people to pay for a funeral luncheon when the family has no money?

Forums User
11 years, 2 months ago

A co worker of mine lost a friend recently and the deceased family has no money for a repast luncheon and would like to invite the mourners to join the family for a light lunch but how would that be said in the memorial program? Sort of like a cash bar but this would be for the meal.

Jennifer Lane
11 years ago

I am very sorry for your co-worker’s loss. It sounds like this would need to be presented as more of a memorial fundraiser lunch than a traditional repast luncheon.

This is a little tricky – if mourners are not aware of the financial issues, then asking them to pay for the lunch can be stated “A donation box will be present to collect money to help the Smith family pay for the luncheon. All proceeds to support the Smith family.” I would preface the invitation with the title “Memorial Fundraiser Lunch” or “Memorial Charity Lunch” so mourners know you are requesting a little money. I would also avoid stating a specific dollar amount unless you put it in the form of “suggested donation is $5 per person or $20 per family.”

Another option (and maybe you already considered this) – You could also ask for volunteers to provide the food for the luncheon. I’m not sure about how many people you would be expecting, but this is feasible if you have enough people volunteer to make sandwiches (or provide sandwich makings – meat, cheese, bread, condiments) and/or casseroles, bring a vegetable tray or a fruit tray. If the deceased was involved in any organization or church, often those groups will round up people to put on a luncheon, especially if they are aware of a financial strain.

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