Drop A Meal

Take Them A MealA good friend of mine from Georgia has a rule: “Whether things are really good, or things are really bad, always bring food.”

I laughed at the time, but those few words, spoken almost flippantly, have stuck with me. My friend is a matriarch of Southern hospitality, complete with pearls and Mary Janes, but also just as comfortable in her fraying Georgia Bulldogs ball cap. She’s right though; taking meals to friends and family during the ups and downs of life is important. Food is the Grand Poobah of comforting gestures.

Have you ever received meals from friends and family during a time when cooking was just not feasible? Say after a loss? Or a surgery? I’m part of a small group that routinely cooks meals for a family with a young child with severe medical problems. (Full disclosure: except that I forgot a couple weeks ago and had to scramble to make it up to them.)

As my friend says, food is also great for happy occasions like the birth of a baby. (I have to take a moment for a personal shout out. This past Sunday, some good friends had a baby daughter. Welcome to the human race, Baby McKenna!)

So, guess what? This morning, I received an email from my Georgia friend about meals for McKenna and her new parents, with a link to a website that helps you coordinate food delivery called (appropriately): Take A Meal. Thought you all might be interested in case this is one of your ways to volunteer or give of your time (and hopefully, for the receiving party, utilize your excellent cooking skills). The site offers a place for central scheduling as well as recipe ideas if you’re coming up blank or trying to minimize the number of tuna casseroles your friend receives. It also provides email reminders, which considering my mess up a couple of weeks ago, is a great feature.

It’s obvious the people at Take A Meal have done this once or twice. They even provide a great list of logistical questions to ask the receiving party prior to food showing up at their house…all the way from available freezer space and food allergies…to secure drop-off locations and hours.

This past winter, my husband did a tour of duty overseas, so we were out of the country for a while. I came back ahead of him, and let me tell you how nice was it to find my formerly-stark fridge laden with BBQ pulled pork, Southern mac n’ cheese, salad, homemade quiche, berry fruit medley, bagels, OJ and milk. Oh…and on the counter, Girl Scout cookies and a bone for my dog. Do I have some super friends, or what?

The little things truly do make a difference. They truly do warm the heart, serving as reminders that we are not alone in this life. Others are there to support and celebrate with us.

What have been your experiences with taking/receiving meals during the good and bad times?


19 comments on “Drop A Meal

  1. When I was battling breast cancer, I was a teacher. The teachers organized meals to be delivered to me ~ everyone participated, the parents, the whole community. I am so blessed to have been a receiver of meals. There is nothing like tasting the extra love that’s the special ingredient when someone special makes you a meal. You are so right that it’s the little things that make all the difference ~ especially that extra helping of care and love. 🙂

  2. Love this post, Marney.
    When the family lived in California I belonged to a group called, Helping Hands. We provided meals for people in need. After I received the phone call from the head of the chain group designating my specific dish, I would get my children involved in the process. As we baked I would relay the story behind that particular person and the situation they were going through. When it came time to deliver the meal I’d take the kids with me. I wanted them to see the joy on the person’s face and the importance of doing a good deed… the importance of volunteering.

  3. This is the coolest thing I’ve seen in a long time! I’ve long been the food person…the guy taking the meal. My grandmother showed me as a child the caring and love that food conveys in helping someone in need; either in illness, or in grief. It has stayed with me all these years and I love doing it.

    • Isn’t it great? I remember reading in your book that you would cook in “batches”. I figured you were someone who looked for opportunities to ease others’ burdens. As I’ve gotten to know you, I see that’s for sure the way you are. 🙂

  4. Shortly after we moved to Colorado (thank you, Uncle Sam), I had to have surgery — quite unexpected. I’d just joined a MOPS group — hardly knew these other moms. But they brought me meals. My one daughter asked me: Who are these people? And I said: These are my new friends.
    There’s nothing like kindness to bond hearts together.

  5. I had a good friend in high school that I would hang out often at her home as her mother would ‘keep her eye on us.’ About four years ago, her mother was diagnosed with cancer and it was pretty aggressive. My friend and her sister lived out of State and couldn’t be here to keep food in the house for the parents. After one phone call, I was signed up for a weekly meal with all the dietary restrictions that came from being a chemo patient. But, it wasn’t just the food… it was the time spent with her mom and family on a weekly basis. Listening to stories of their lives in the community was as priceless to me as the meatloaf was to them.

  6. As a recent recipient of receiving meals, (Thanks for McKenna’s first shout out! We are loving being her parents!) I can say that it has been extremely helpful to have a fridge stocked and meals taken care of. It takes time to prepare/purchase a meal and drop it off – and time has become a precious commodity these days. I think that’s why bringing a meal to someone is such an awesome act of kindness.
    And Marney…your orzo pasta was quite the hit in the Corbin household 🙂


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