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Tips for providing a meal
The following is general information and may not apply for every situation. Please check with the recipient family or meal coordinator.
- Find out what the family normally eats and use that to guide your decision on what to offer.
- If possible, offer the family a choice of meals. Try to offer variety by checking what other meals have been provided within a few days of the time you would like to take a meal.
- Find out if any family members have any food sensitivities or allergies (lactose intolerant, peanut allergies, etc.)
- Use disposable containers to make the cleanup easier. This will also eliminate the need for the family to keep track of and return the container. If you must use a non-disposable container and would like for it to be returned, please label it with your name and phone number.
- Include disposable utensils (forks, knives, cups, etc.) if available.
- Label the containers with the contents, date prepared, and your name.
- Give clear written instructions for any additional preparation that may need to be done (heating times/temps, etc.). This can be on an attached piece of paper or written directly on a disposable container or foil covering.
- Arrange a time to deliver the meal and be on time. Call if there is a change in plans.
- It's usually a great time to visit briefly with the family when delivering a meal. Unless specifically asked to stay longer, it is usually best to keep your visit short. If the family is not ready for company, only stay as long as necessary. Please respect the family's needs and wishes.
- If you would like to provide a meal without cooking it yourself, takeout food from a restaurant is an option.
- For family and friends that are too far away to help, there are some options.
Gift cards are available from many chain restaurants that can be easily sent to the recipient. They can choose the meal, and in some locations, arrange to have it delivered when it is convenient for them.
Or, you could send a prepared meal.