One of the most practical ways to help someone going through a health crisis or other life challenge is to deliver meals, but sometimes logistics can be overwhelming to navigate.
As I’ve received lots of meals from others during my health challenges–and delivered lots of meals in return–I’ve discovered some tips that make the process go much more smoothly for everyone.
Whether you’re coordinating a delivery team of 5 or 25, these suggestions will take out the guesswork for you.
P.S. – Be sure to check out my post, Healthy Meal Delivery Ideas for a Friend. I share my favorite meals, including main dishes, sides, and bonus tips!
1. Find out what schedule works best for the recipient.
First consider the spacing between days. Do they need a meal every night or just a few nights a week? Will they want meals delivered on weekends?
Also consider the time of day that works best for delivery. For example, do they prefer to have the meal come to the door at dinnertime, warm and ready to be placed directly on the table? Or do they prefer to receive the meal earlier in the day with baking or reheating instructions that they can follow on their own?
Also consider when they’ll be home for the deliveries, and whether they’ll want to put a cooler on their front porch so they don’t feel tied to their house when other priorities are demanding their time.
2. Find out their food preferences, allergies, and contact information.
Food preferences and allergies are crucial to know so that both the giver and recipient aren’t wasting their time. If the recipient’s family hates peppers, you’ll want to cross your famous Stuffed Pepper recipe off your list. If there’s a nut allergy in the family, you’ll need to know that so you can check allergy information on your food labels and ingredients.
Also be sure to get their contact information, such as mailing address, email, and phone numbers. It’s best to get more than one phone number so there’s a backup in case you have issues with delivery.
3. Use an online scheduling tool.
There are a lot of websites that coordinate meal delivery schedules online, and almost all of them allow you to customize the schedule, as well as enter the recipient’s family details, preferences, allergies, contact information, etc.
They also ask you to enter the meal you’ll be bringing, which is really helpful so you don’t duplicate a meal that was just delivered the day before. Email reminders are sent so you don’t forget your delivery.
If you’re new to this, I recommend starting with FoodTidings.com. They have an extremely user-friendly interface that makes it easy to see a snapshot of the schedule and recipient details.
4. Consider following up after deliveries, both with the recipient and the person delivering.
After a couple meal deliveries have taken place, check with the recipient to make sure the logistics are working. If there are any adjustments that need to be made to their schedule or delivery information, it’s better to catch it early.
Also consider following up with the person who delivered the meal and say a quick thank you. If the recipient comments on a meal they really liked, you can follow up to get the recipe for them also.
Above all, remember to stay flexible and adjust your plans if needed. Your concern for your friend will speak volumes and your tangible actions will let her know she’s loved.
Blessings to you as you minister!
*photo by Jana at Twigy Posts