March 27, 2012

A gift of a meal to someone is such an easy, traditional, warm way to show you care. Relatively inexpensive, but giving a blessing greater than its cost. A simple way to offer kindness to others when they’re feeling overwhelmed, lonely or just plain tired. WHO would be blessed by your offer to deliver a fresh, hot or “heat ‘n’ serve” dinner?

  • New parents adapting to life with a baby;
  • Someone in recovery from surgery, injury or illness;
  • Family coping after the loss of a loved one;
  • Friend now unemployed;
  • Military family;
  • Single parent short on time and money;
  • Family just moving in;
  • Anyone going through a difficult crisis.

Often we have good intentions to help, but taking that first step is sometimes difficult. Since mere thoughts don’t convey our true compassion, here are some tips to draw from on how to get started and how to do this easily.

  1. When you’re planning your own dinner, shop for and prepare a double portion – one for you, one to deliver.
  2. Call ahead to be sure the recipient will be home, and confirm a delivery time that suits their schedule. 
  3. Ask if they have any food allergies, likes/dislikes, dietary considerations.
  4. Avoid containers you want returned. Use tin or semi-disposable plastic type.
  5. Stock up on assorted sizes of those tin containers so you’re ready when there’s a need. They can be used to cook or re-warm the entree. You can bake and deliver a dessert, like brownies, right in them, too.
  6. Side salads, bagettes, cookies, etc. can be delivered in Ziploc bags.
  7. Include baking instructions if not delivering the meal hot. In this case, be sure to deliver the meal early enough so the recipient can allow for baking time.
  8. Avoid very spicy entrees for nursing mothers. Also, if a new mom has someone staying with her the first week or two, like her own mother or sister, she might appreciate your meal more if delivered after this help is gone.
  9. You can help even if you don’t cook! Build a meal at the grocer’s deli or order from your favorite restaurant. Have a pizza delivered – don’t forget to include the tip and tell the driver to say it’s all paid for. grin
  10. Don’t think you have to do a whole meal if that intimidates you. Start small. For example, I often make something easy, like a loaf of banana bread, for new neighbors.
  11. Drop off a fresh fruit basket or veggie tray – especially helpful for someone struggling financially.

WHAT are some ideas to serve? 

  • Chicken Parmigiana
  • Spinach & Strawberry Salad
  • Lasagna
  • Enchiladas
  • A hearty soup, stew or chili
  • Stuffed Shells
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