So many times when our friends, neighbors and/or coworkers are faced with a life-altering event, one of our first thoughts is to bring them a covered dish or casserole so the last thing they have to worry about is preparing meals for the rest of their family. I know that I’ve been on the receiving end more than once and was grateful for all of the food people brought me.
Recently, my neighbor Connie underwent back surgery. Right before she was getting out of rehab, another neighbor, Mary (who heads up our neighborhood community watch program), sent out an email asking several of us if we could take Connie meals while she was recovering. But instead of having people sign up via numerous email messages and phone calls, she directed us to this fantastic website: Take Them a Meal (http://www.takethemameal.com/). Take Them a Meal makes meal planning for others a breeze — it’s easy to use and it’s free.
Adina Bailey and Scott Rogers founded Take Them a Meal in when a close friend of theirs collapsed from the sudden onset of a heart condition. After hearing from numerous family members, friends and neighbors who wanted to help by bringing food to her husband and four young children, they wanted to help and knew the meals were needed. However, they felt overwhelmed by the task of coordinating meals and as a result designed a website that eliminated the need for making and receiving time-consuming phone calls.
Adina and Scott quickly realized that their website would be helpful in situations other than tragedies, such as when:
- Babies are born
- People have long-term illnesses
- Someone has an operation
- A family has the flu
- A classroom needs weekly snacks
It is so easy to create a schedule. It takes about five minutes to fill out the online form, which includes information about the meal coordinator and recipient, start and end times, days when meals are needed and a section for notes, such as food allergies, likes and dislikes, etc.
The coordinator then sends a link to those who will participate. As a participant, once you click on the link, the schedule pops up and are able to sign up for a specific date(s) and what you are going to bring. I really like this part because you see what others are taking to the family in need and can plan to bring something different to add some variety to the weekly menu.
In addition to meal scheduling, Take Them a Meal also includes recipes; a section called “Send a Meal,” where you can purchase a premade meal and have it sent to the person’s home; a blog; and a help section. Here’s an example from the website of a Meatloaf and Mac meal you can send:
My hat is off to Adina Bailey and Scott Rogers for creating this fantastic and easy-to-use website! The recipients are so appreciative (as seen in this sweet thank-you note from my neighbor.) What a thoughtful and wonderful way to help others in the time of need.
Eat, drink and be merry!
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