You may be wondering what on earth a Meal Train is and why should you start one? It is a genius concept in its altruistic simplicity. Have you ever had people cook for you while having had a newborn? Or perhaps after a stint in hospital or a tragedy in the family (hopefully not!)? If you have, it probably made the world of difference having delicious meals turning up, hot, and right around dinnertime just when the family was getting hungry. And if you haven’t, this probably sounds incredible!
Well this is essentially a form of Meals-on-Wheels where your friends all rally together to ensure you are well-nourished during your time of sleep deprivation and massive family adjustment. It is something my husband and I like to do for our friends with new babies and we are always so amazed at how grateful they are for the simplest of meals that require no thought. Because to even think of what to cook for dinner, can be one too many thoughts when you’re trying to navigate breastfeeding and how to keep up with all the washing.
Meal Train is the brainchild of Kathleen and Michael Laramee who founded it in 2009 as a means to organise a group of friends to provide meals for someone in need. They believe that providing a meal to someone not only helps greatly for dinner that night but is symbolic and emphasises that they are not alone.
To start a Meal Train, sign-up on their website (it’s free!) and simply ask the person who needs some support things such as helpful dates when they would need a meal, where they would like the meals dropped off, any likes/dislikes or allergies of the family and the best times of day to drop off the meals. Enter this information in and then invite anyone who you think would like to participate (via email, Facebook etc.) to sign-up. At this point, the participants can see what dates are available and key information you’ve asked the person in need of support. They then register their intention on the right date and you have a Meal Train!
The fantastic thing about Meal Train is that it can be used to provide extra support to people such as school drop-offs and pick-ups, housework, childcare or gardening. This is Meal Train Plus and costs a once-off price of $10 however could be well worth it to someone struggling. Another add-on from Meal Train is ‘Potluck’ which helps in organising a potluck dinner between several people in terms of suitable dates and meals – and this one is absolutely free!
I hope this is an idea that could help someone you know, however, if it is you who would dearly benefit from this, I’m sure friends and family would love a way to assist you so feel free to pass it on!
Please visit http://www.mealtrain.com for more information
Nicola is a radiography student who lives in Christchurch in an all-boy household with her husband, husky puppy and cat. She is interested in all things creative, loves living near the beach and writes for a The Baby View among other commercial blogs.