Do you have a “go to” list for care package items when a friend is in need?
Bookmark this page for your “go to” list for thoughtful care package items. Be the friend who gives generously and thoughtfully when a friend is in need, without asking “what do you need.” Whether it’s the stress of caring for a sick family member, sitting bedside with the dying, or trying to hold the family together after a traumatic incident, the same basic needs exist…food and rest.
Putting together a small package of helpful items and dropping it off on a friend’s porch says so much. It’s a hug, a prayer, and a meal all wrapped up in one. Before you stop reading because your friends live too far away, most of this could be done by restaurant or grocery delivery services, too. Don’t let distance keep you from helping out.
Over the years, friends have generously and thoughtfully taken care of my family during hard times. I remember a meal taken to MY house for my kids because I was away at my parents house caring for them. I remember a bag full of homemade cookies that got us through 4 am bedside vigils. I remember a grocery bag with paper products and toilet paper because they knew we would not want to leave the house that week. I remember multiple containers of vegetable soup and a huge pan of pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, enough to feed everyone that came through the house for several days. I remember not asking for any of it but being so grateful during the moment. I was fed, hugged, and loved. In the moments of stress and early morning hours, I was not as alone as I felt.
Over the years I’ve created a list of food and products that are pretty easy to put together and take to a friend. I don’t take all the items, but just pick what will be most appropriate for the situation. I always take the items in disposable containers so there’s nothing to return to me. If several items go together to make a meal, I often list that on a note in the bag. The person opening the front door might not be the person making the meals so I try to make it easy on everyone.
Foods that are easy to grab and eat no matter the time of day:
Chicken salad and mini croissants
Hearty soups (In several plastic containers)
Breakfast bars, granola bars, power bars
Individual bags of trail mix or nuts
Apple sauce cups
Fresh veggies, washed and cut
Mini hummus or guacamole
Individual bags of pretzels
Hard boiled eggs
Cookies with oatmeal
Mints or gum or mini chocolate bars
Bottled water in small sizes
Coffee to-go cups with lids
Tissues (mini packs and a box)
Make ahead freezer meals (with ingredients list and cooking directions)
Frozen individual servings of soup
Food prep delivery service
Gift card for a local restaurant with take out or delivery
Giving some food goes a long way to helping a friend have more time to eat and rest, especially nutritious and easy to fix foods. To give means to present voluntarily without expecting payback, but we know that the one who gives generously and thoughtfully DOES get payback. The satisfaction of giving to a friend in need is the reward. Even on a limited budget, it’s easy to grab one or two of these items on a shopping trip to keep on hand to share with a friend when the occasion arises.
Share in the comment section if you have a favorite freezer meal or soup recipe you like to take to friends.
Table Talk: What is your favorite meal to take to a friend? What’s the best care package you ever received?