Did you recently sign up on Meal Train® for one of your close friends, family members, or another member of your community? Here’s everything you need to know about delivering a fresh, comforting meal.
1. Make it easy
Make it easy on your recipient and deliver your meal in containers they’re able to keep. You can find inexpensive containers at thrift stores or yard sales. For just a couple of dollars, you’ll be able to deliver your meal in a vintage casserole dish or high-quality plasticware container that your recipient can use again and again.
This removes the burden for your recipient to return any dishes to the meal maker. Especially if your recipient is a new parent, sick, or injured, this practice can alleviate a lot of additional work and stress for them.
2. Label any items you need to be returned
If it just isn’t possible for you to send recyclable and reusable containers for your recipient to keep, make sure you clearly label any items you need to be returned. Because Meal Train sets up meals for several days, weeks, or even months, chances are they’ll have quite a few dishes from meal makers in their home at one time. We recommend sending along a large bag pre-labeled with your name, so all they need to do is wash your dishes and place them back in the bag. Then, you can coordinate a pick-up time when they’re ready.
3. Include clear preparation instructions
The goal of Meal Train is to make hot and fresh meals as accessible as possible to recipients. You want meals to be almost entirely preassembled. However, if they need to bake the dish or toss the salad, you’ll want to include those specific instructions. You can even print a cheerful instruction label.
4. Consider using an insulated bag
An insulated bag is a way to keep food either hot or cold on its way to a destination. If you’ve prepared the meal right before dinner and know your recipient will eat it upon delivery, this is a great way to transport it. Plus, you don’t have to leave the insulated bag with the recipient. You can use the bag to take it into the house, remove the containers or dishes, and take the bag with you.
5. Follow the delivery requests on the Meal Train page
Typically the Meal Train page has delivery instructions, including the preferred time for drop off. Make sure you review the instructions before you head over so you know what time to bring your meal and where you should leave it. Having a home cooked meal delivered is incredible, and you can make it even better by showing the recipient you’re thoughtful of their requests.
6. Text the recipient on your way
There's not much better than someone bringing you food, but it can be a little unnerving to never know when they'll show up at your door. Text the recipient when you’re on your way and let them know your estimated time of arrival. This will allow them to feel more prepared and in control of the situation.
All the tips above will make your meal memorable for the Meal Train recipient. If you can’t participate in the meal train because you don’t live nearby or can’t cook, consider sending a gift card, so you can still take care of the meal for a night.