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Guide: Meal Registries

One of the most common ways friends offer help to the bereaved is by providing meals to the family.

What You Need To Know

There are a number of online tools for coordinating meal delivery. Most of these services are free and require registration. They are usually organized around a calendar that specifies the days that the person needs meals provided. Friends can sign up to bring the person and his or her family a meal on a certain day.

If you are in need of a meal registry for yourself, you should not feel embarrassed about asking for help in this way. Many people want to help, and a meal registry provides a structured way for them to do so.

If you are providing meals, it's important that you actually bring the meals when you say you will. Keep in mind that meal registries are not a way of scheduling time to spend with the person you're bringing a meal to, so don't overstay your welcome in the home. Conversely, don't feel like you need to hang out when you drop off the meal.

Meal Baby

A friend or family member can create a registry on behalf of the meal recipient, or the recipient can create the registry. A calendar shows available dates, taken dates, and dates you (the friend) signed up for. Specify foods you (the recipient) like, dislike, or are allergic to, as well as the number of adults and children who will be eating. MealBaby is a free service.

Meal Train

To schedule one meal a day, the service is free. The recipient can specify favorite meals, meal dislikes, allergies or dietary restrictions, and the number of adults and children eating. To organize a registry for other needs, such as rides, appointments, housework, and childcare (as well as meals) there is a one-time fee of $10. The unique page the recipient creates has a message board for the community to communicate.

Take Them a Meal

Take Them a Meal lists the date meals are needed and allows users to choose the date they'd like to deliver the meal, and specify what they'll be bringing. There is no sign-up required for this site.

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