If your meeting is important, share food.
Of course you don’t have to organize a pot luck lunch or even put on a meal, but just having some healthy snacks on hand helps in three important ways. First, it serves as a show of respect for the participants; a way for the host to say “welcome.” Second, maybe one or more of the participants shows up really hungry and simply having a few bites of fruit, grains, or protein can put that person at ease and help them be a much better contributor. Third, having food on the table reminds that we are all human, that we all have basic needs in common, that we are a community.
The word “community” comes from an Old French origin meaning “commonness, everybody” and from Latin meaning “society, shared by all or many.” A religious “communion” spiritually connects people through food and wine.
There are many ways to build relationships and a sense of community but none more time honored than sharing food. Indeed, sharing food might have been the very first reason that ancient people got together, and it continues to help any gathering of people who want to make good group decisions.