Jacob’s join is the term used by my mum and her friends to describe a get-together that involves each person bringing food – usually something they’ve made themselves – to share with the others. I would probably call such a gathering a potluck dinner/supper.
According to Wikipedia, the word potluck pr pot-luck first appeared in England during the 16th century in the workd of Thomas Nashe. At that time it referred to “food provided for an unexpected or uninvited guest, the luck of the pot”. It took on the sense of a meal where guest contribute dishes in the late 19th / early 20th century in the USA, and is thought to come from the Chinook Jargon word potlatch (gift), which comes from the Nootka p̓ačiƛ (to give in ceremony).
Other terms for Jacob’s join / potluck include: potluck dinner, spread, Jacob’s supper, faith supper, covered dish supper, pitch-in, carry-in, bring-a-plate and smorgasbord.
Is this kind of meal popular in your area? If so, what do you call it?