I’ve yet to hear grieving families complain that their friends and neighbours brought food after someone passed away. Generally the people who do bring food are close friends and neighbours who know a bit about what might be best to bring. However, here are some tips if you are thinking about sending food to a bereaved family…
Consider all the members of the family. Aim for a meal that everyone will be able to share. Also, you may know if there will be extra family members coming from out of town which will mean that a meal needs to be larger. You don’t need to do it all…there’s nothing wrong with a meal being a joint effort amongst friends, especially if it is a meal that is being served between Funeral Home visitations.
Don’t send a meal in your prized casserole dish. In fact, don’t send a meal in any kind of container that you want back. Spare the family the stress of remembering to return dishes to their rightful owners and buy disposable trays. Tell the family you don’t want the dish back.
If the meal requires extra cooking or reheating, write some instructions. Grief makes people exhausted and forgetful. Sometimes it’s hard to remember to eat, much less recalling directions. Consider printing/copying the recipe and writing the date it was cooked on the top.
If the meal needs to be served with pasta or potatoes, throw them in. Provide the entire meal. Think about including some sides – if you’re sending a lasagna, consider sending a salad and some garlic bread.
Consider some basics. If you’re visiting, think about taking a loaf of bread, milk or some fruit. Sometimes families are too overwhelmed to remember to pick up some of the basics. Sometimes they just don’t want to face people at the store.
Call before you go. There were some days when families just don’t want company. Call ahead. If they don’t answer, leave your visit for another day.