The how and why of Meal Train prep. 

When friends or family are in need of a little extra support, you want to step up and help. I have learned that our community is great at doing just that: stepping up and helping. Still, there are times you feel helpless or aren’t quite sure what the best plan of action is. That’s where Meal Train, a crowdsourcing platform for providing meals for those in need, comes in. Whether it’s the loss of a loved one or the birth of a child, setting up a Meal Train is the perfect way to help. 

I recently learned about Meal Train from a few football moms. One of the players on the team needed some extra support, and these moms went into action. They created their own Meal Train to provide food for this player for the summer months and plan to continue this into the new school year. I heard this and was just amazed. 

A few weeks later, I heard how beneficial a Meal Train was for Kelly Jackson. Kelly was diagnosed with an incurable cancer called multiple myeloma in February of 2012 and was told she had three to five years to live. During that time, her friends got together and created a Meal Train for her. Now, she’s still here, now using Meal Trains for her friends and family who need help. 

“I have been on the receiving and giving ends of a Meal Train, and what a blessing it has been to receive and give back,” Kelly says. “There are situations that make it impossible to perform basic tasks like cooking, and to know that you don’t have to worry about it for a while is such a relief! It definitely made a difference in my healing and recovery process. It is such a humble feeling to have been helped and know that I can make a difference and help others.”

“It is such a humble feeling to have been helped and know that I can make a difference and help others.”

Kelly Jackson

The idea and concept isn’t new; people have been making meals for friends and family for years and years. However, with technology, Meal Train’s website makes it simple to create an organized calendar and share it with others who want to help. 

This is a simple and free way to help a friend or family member who needs a little extra support. Additionally, being able to enter in specific dates for the meals to be sent ensures that they won’t have a refrigerator full one week and empty the next. They’re able to get food a couple of times a week and eat leftovers on the days that food isn’t delivered. 

There are additional options to Meal Train that can be utilized, too. When you create your Meal Train online, there is a section dedicated to food preferences or special instructions. This way you know your friend or family member is getting food they like. There is also an option to add donations, which can go towards grocery expenses, restaurants or takeout, and medical expenses. 

If you know someone who is needing more than just meals, you may consider Meal Train Plus. This not only lets people sign up for meals, but friends and family can also sign up for additional tasks like giving rides, dog walking, errands, and more. 

It’s also a good idea to know a little bit about Meal Train etiquette. Don’t get me wrong — no matter what you do or bring, your friend or family member is going to appreciate it! The fact that you care about them enough to bring meal is amazing, but there are a few things that could make your meal transfer easier:

  • Bring all the items in containers you don’t want back
  • Don’t forget a side and dessert
  • Label with reheating or baking instructions
  • Don’t be offended if they’re not up for visiting

There you go! Now you have everything you need for the next time a friend or family member needs a little extra help. Check out these recipes that are perfect for any meal train. 

Chicken Pot Pie

Creamy Chicken Tacos

Creamy Chicken Tacos

Chocolate Fudge Caramel Brownie