We all get the emails. You know the ones I’m talking about. Those emails with the link. The link to sign up for a meal. Let me guess your first thought. You barely have time to get a meal together for your own family, much less someone else’s. Someone had a baby last week and needed a meal. Another person at church had surgery this week and needs a meal. A neighbor’s husband passed away and they will need a meal for all the family coming in town. Seriously?
How do I know what you are thinking? Because you are human, like me. And we humans are, by nature, selfish. If we are Christians, we are called to love our neighbors. Philippians 2:4 says, “…not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
If you have never clicked the link to sign up for a meal, I encourage you to do so. Meals do not have to be fancy or gourmet to touch someone’s heart.
Here are some practical tips for meal sign ups:
· HOMEMADE: If you prepare the meal yourself, double the recipe and cook for your own family at the same time. Send food in disposable pans or plastic containers the recipient can keep. Be sure to include cooking instructions, which can be written directly on the lid.
· FAST FOOD: People in need appreciate any attempt to reach out and help them no matter how big or small. It is a relief to know fast food is okay. Families with small children might appreciate the kid’s meal with a toy.
· GIFT CARDS: Families with older kids that drive can use gift cards to the nearest restaurant. There are times when “person in need” desires time alone to sleep or rest. A gift card can provide an opportunity for family members to get out of the house.
· DELIVERY: If you are pressed for time, food delivery is a great option and has evolved from more than just pizza. Food is food and there is nothing wrong with having a pizza delivered to someone’s home. UberEAT’s can deliver a wide variety of food from healthy options to fast food.
Remember to consider food allergies and dietary restrictions with any food you provide. These are typically included in the meal sign up schedule.
Taking a meal to someone is much more than food delivery. It is an act of love and self-sacrifice. A family may receive one meal from you, but they are usually receiving meal after meal for several days, weeks or even months depending on their particular situation. This family no longer feels alone. This family no longer feels like they will never be back to normal. This family feels like they are part of something bigger than themselves. This family belongs to a community that supports one another and it all started with one spoonful of comfort.