9 Tips for Bringing Meals to Grieving Families

April 5, 2018
Bringing food to a friend is such a precious way to love on her during a hard time. And if you want to go above and beyond with your meal, below are tips suggested by our amazing community of women.  
1. Don't expect the person to visit with you
Grieving people are on a roller coaster. They often cannot predict how they will feel, and they may unexpectedly fall asleep, cry, or need time alone. So, when you dropoff the meal, it's helpful to tell your friend that you don't expect to visit with them. You can say something like, "I won't stay unless you need me to, or want to visit." You can also bring a disposable cooler so that you can leave the food at the front door without needing to schedule the dropoff with them.  
2. Don't bring anything she has to return
This means no casserole dishes, hot pads, or serving spoons. The grocery store has awesome disposable casserole dishes, and you can put just about anything in them. It's also helpful to scribble simple cooking directions on the cover.  
3. Include disposable dishes or other household items
Disposable cups, plates, silverware, and napkins means no dishes need to be cleaned after dinner. It can also be helpful to bring other necessary household paper goods (like trash bags, paper towels, toilet paper, etc.) so that they don't have to shop for them.
4. Bring food for meals outside of "dinner"
Dinner food is great, but food for breakfast and lunch is also helpful! Easy breakfast ideas include cinammon bread, frozen homemade pancakes, egg casserole, orange juice, coffee, banana bread, and frozen bagels with cream cheese. Lunch ideas include sandwhich bread, lunch meat, chips and dip, and veggies for snacking. And if there are kids in the house, it can be helpful to include some kid food (like string cheese, mac and cheese, or animal crackers).
5. Bring some "Fun Food"
If you are going to bring something outside of dinner, it is wonderful to bring some "fun food." This includes dessert, snacks, teas, coffees, ice cream, a bottle of wine, or a pitcher of punch. Be creative and offer your favorite "fun food."  
6. Be flexible in how you support
Maybe your friend is feeling stir crazy and needs a night out of the house. Or maybe she'd love some takeout from their favorite restaurant. If you don't know how to help or live far away, a Visa gift card is awesome so they can spend it however they would like.
7. Offer to go to make a grocery run for her instead of bring her food
Going to the grocery after loss is pretty horrible. It helps a ton if someone offers to shop for you!
8. Keep any questions about the menu or the schedule simple and few
She probably doesn't have the mental space to help you process what to cook and when to bring the meal. So unless there are food sensitivies or allergies (in which case you can always bring gift cards or make a grocery run), keep it simple.   If you're not sure about the schedule, bring the food inside a disposable cooler and make a meal that can be frozen for later if she already has a meal.
9. Make sure you tell her NOT to write you a thank you card
It is so thoughtful to sweetly tell her not to write you a thank you card.

Hi! We are Johanna and Denise, cousins, best friends, and founders of laurelbox. Our little shop works hard to support the supporters and bring community during grief. Welcome! Thank you for joining us and we hope you'll stay awhile!

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