How Food Can be a Comfort

Bringing food to a family who has lost a loved one is a long practiced tradition. So much so that there are dishes such as Funeral Potatoes, a well-known “go to” casserole to make for bereaved families. Many who have experienced a loss comment that the simple act of dropping off meals was welcomed and deeply appreciated.

Here are some things to keep in mind when bringing food to a grieving family:

  1. Check to see if anyone has food allergies or specific dietary needs. If you don’t know, consider paper plates, paper towels, and drinks. These items will simplify serving guests and make clean-up easier.

  2. Keep it simple. Food should be prepared and easy to heat up and good for multiple reheating. People will be coming and going and not hungry at set mealtimes. Food that can be pulled from the fridge and left out for an extended time will be appreciated. Sandwich trays, pizza, and casseroles are good options.

  3. Remember the kids. The adults will be busy organizing and keeping everything together, possibly not thinking of eating. Children in the family will still be hungry. Include some kid friendly food in your care package.

  4. The time during the planning of the funeral can be hurried and stressful. Bring food at other times. Help is usually welcomed leading up to the service, not just the day of the funeral. In fact, the week before and after the funeral are good times to stop by with dinner.

  5. Tell, don’t ask. Call first and tell the family you will be bringing dinner. Don’t ask if you can deliver the food, they may not want to be a bother and are likely to tell you not to worry. Instead, ask them when it is convenient to drop by or if the house will be open for you to put something in the refrigerator. If you are not close enough to stop by in person, delivery of a meal can be arranged via phone or the internet.

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