How to Organize Meals for Those in Need

The following post is from Becky of Organizing Made Fun:

source: Organizing Made Fun

How often is it that you know of someone who has just had surgery, a baby, or is just going through a difficult time in their lives, and you want to do something for them? One of the best things you can do is bring someone a meal, which is not only helpful but also an expression of love and concern.

How can you go about organizing meals for a friend in need? Sometimes, like when someone has a baby or a surgery, you know it’s coming. So, the best thing to do is to ask them if they’d like you to set up meals for them from their friends and family after their baby is born or surgery.   Surprisingly, I often hear, “Oh, no, we don’t need meals,” but I usually tell them that it’s allowing others the opportunity to serve them in this way. I nudge them a bit.

The next thing you need to do is ask when they need to start having meals taken to themif they have surgery and are expected to be in the hospital for a specific amount of time – and how often they need them. I generally try to help organize meals for most people for every other day. Sometimes, every day is required, or more than one per day. But for new Mommies it’s a great idea to have a meal every other day for two weeks or so.

It’s important to ask if there are any allergies or foods they really don’t like. This is important because you’d hate to have someone bring a big lasagna to someone who is allergic to dairy. Or bring fish to someone who hates fish!

Then, you need to find out what time of day they’d like their meals delivered or if they’d rather have each person call and set up the time specific to that day, along with any phone number and address of where the meal should be taken, etc. I’ve delivered meals to families who did not want to be disturbed and had a large cooler on the front porch to leave the meal in so they could go out and get it when it was easier for them.

Also, ask for the emails or phone numbers of people close to the family so that you can invite them to serve in this way. Maybe you have them on a Facebook group? Whatever your way to find their friends, make sure to do that.

The last thing I do is go online and use a meal planning website, like TakeThemAMeal.com, which is set up to do this very thing. It walks you through the whole process and asks you all kinds of questions and then you send out a mass email to all their friends. Each person then goes to the link and finds the date that is convenient for them and signs up.

It’s so easy because you don’t have to send out an email and go back and forth with the meal providers. They can see on the site exactly who has chosen which day and what they bring so there isn’t a repeat of dinners every night.  The website emails them a reminder email two days before. It’s really great. What a blessing it is for them when tragedy strikes or when a family faces illness, surgery, or the birth of a baby.

It’s not hard to set up meals, as long as you have a plan you can help your friend or family member be blessed in this wonderful way!

What is your favorite meal to share with a family in need?

Becky blogs at Organizing Made Fun. She has been married to her college sweetheart for 18 years and is a mother to two children. Becky organizes just about everything and she enjoys motivating other women to learn to organize, schedule, and run their home imperfectly but efficiently.

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