Food for other folks

We’re from the midwest.  When a person has a tragedy or a celebration, we send food.  Folks have family deaths (including miscarriage) and emergency surgeries and babies and foster kids and adoptions.  We send casseroles and cookies.

Here’s our standard package for a new mom (generally sent 2 weeks after the birth, after the first round of grandparents has headed out, but before the baby is going to show signs of food intolerance to breast milk)

  • Beef Tamale Pie casserole (or the vegetarian version if vegetarian)
  • Some sort of meat (or veggie) stew
  • Milk
  • Bananas
  • Bread
  • Cheese
  • A rotisserie chicken
  • Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (very important for milk supply)

For losses, we send casseroles and chocolate, cold comfort, but the best we can do.  For recovering from surgery, healthy food, usually with low salt content.

#2 says, I bring things that are already in freezer containers so they can spread out their food needs.  Protein & veggies, soup is good, though I am less beef-heavy than #1.  (#1 says:  beef is for new moms– they need the iron!)  If they need consolation, they may need ice cream.  I think people might also need simple comfort food for when their brains are worn down, either by grief or by joy and sleeplessness.  If I know them, I probably know a few things they would like, such as the kind of soda they drink or the special diet they’re on or what foods they gravitate towards.

What do you do when someone has had a tragedy or celebration?  If you send food, what are your standards?

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24 Responses to “Food for other folks”

  1. 101 Centavos Says:

    A big pan of lasagna and a loaf of bread is what we send for illnesses and deaths in the family.

  2. First Gen American Says:

    My friends and family are so spread out that this isn’t usually possible, so we mail order cookies or steaks.

    But for local people, a pan of chicken enchiladas with homemade sauce also travels well.

  3. Sandy @ yesiamcheap Says:

    I guess we’re all food centric. For me soup is comfort food, so it’s always a nice hearty soup or stew that can be frozen and heated later.

  4. Dr. O Says:

    A coworker brought Hubby and I a wonderful homemade chicken pot pie, frozen and ready to bake, after I had Monkey. It was packed with lots of good veggies, so healthy and comforting. I’ve got the recipe and plan to make it my new go-to.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I love chicken pot-pie. It’s actually really easy to make too! Well, if someone else is making the pie crust. I like pork pot pie too. And Beef. Yum.

      • Dr. O Says:

        We just get the pie crust from the store, so pretty EZ. I haven’t thought of substituting pork or beef – next one… :)

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Pork, sage, and onions. Bliss. (You use the same other ingredients as the chicken pot pie– it might need a bit more flour in the roux because pork is wetter, but the idea is the same… cook meat and spices, add veggies that need to be sauteed, add flour and stir with heat on until absorbed, then add water to make gravy, then put in any other veggies).

        For the beef, just make your favorite beef stew recipe and let it get a bit thick.

  5. Money Reasons Says:

    I could imagine, that at one time food was a much more valuable, unlike today in the US. In some countries food would (of course) still be highly valued.

    For us, it’s just outdated but traditional. Or so I believe… what say you?

  6. everyday tips Says:

    It depends on the family. For instance, one family had several kids and the father had passed, so I prepared a giant fruit salad and cookies. (I know when life is messed up, it is easy to not eat real healthy, so I like to get fruit, especially for the kids.)

    I will sometimes bake an oatmeal chocolate chip cake and drop that off.

    I will sometimes make a pan of mostaccioli with cheese on top that can be heated up when convenient.

  7. Comrade PhysioProf Says:

    I just had a baby, all four of my grandparents died, and I had my gallbladder out. THANKS!

  8. Perpetua Says:

    The last two times I’ve been in a situation to produce food as comfort, love, and/or help were very different. In the first, I was far away and the loved one’s partner was dying. They have two small children (and she was working full time), so I wanted to make sure she had some frozen meals, and I ordered them from Omaha Steaks – they were $$ but having a great sale. And apparently the kids loved playing with the boxes and packaging, so it was a double win. In the second case, I wanted to provide some love and cheer, rather than sustenance, to a local friend given a devastating diagnosis. So I went to a local pastry shop and bought the most decadent, frivolous, beautiful treats I could find and deposited them at their door.

  9. Lindy Mint Says:

    A friend of mine just had a baby, and her friend sent me an invite to sign up for food provisions through this website, Foodtidings.com, that allows friends to schedule food drop offs for a certain duration. I thought it was pretty cool.

    I’m taking lasagna, and now I’m adding Oatmeal cookies thanks to your tip. :)

  10. Squirrelers Says:

    For a celebration, I would call to congratulate, send a card, etc. I’ve sent food…like a Chicago-style pizza from here to someone in California….that cost me over $30 in shipping! But really, usually it’s a call and maybe a card depending on who the person is. Food is a once in a while thing, maybe I have done that 5 or 6 times.

    For a tragedy, that’s a whole different animal. Really depends on the person. Honestly, I don’t know if I do a very good job of dealing with such issues and consoling people. The reason I say that is that I typically email or send a card, and don’t talk up front. I let the “dust settle” (bad analogy, I realize as I type this!) for a while before reaching out. The thing is, some people want space and some want to be smothered. I always assume space is what people want…though I would want people to reach out. Contradictory? Yes. That’s why I play it safe to be sure.

    Would be interesting to know how others think a tragedy should be handled: giving space or reaching out big time.


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