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5 from 6 votes

How to Bring a Meal to a Friend

Here is my exact process for bringing a meal to a friend in need! You can build community and warmth with one simple meal.
Prep Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Karen


  • 1 main dish
  • 1 side dish
  • 1 extra side dish optional
  • 1 dessert optional
  • plastic silverware optional
  • disposable containers so they don't have to return anything to you
  • warm smiles and hugs


  • Call your friend and ask them these questions:
  • "Do you have any allergies?"
  • "Is there anything you hate to eat, or that your kids won't eat?" Take notes. Bonus question, "What do you like?"
  • Choose a main dish and decide how you will transport it in disposable packaging. (Check out my post 12 Meals to Take to A Friend in Need for my personal favorites, including all menu items and how I package it.)
  • Choose a SIMPLE side dish (so you don't overwhelm yourself). Decide how you will deliver it to them using NO dishes that need to be returned.
  • If you're feeling extra, choose a second SIMPLE side dish.
  • If you're feeling even more extra, choose a dessert.
  • Make the meal. Let cool slightly. Package in disposable containers. Ziplocks, aluminum pans, old marinara jars, and more ziplocks.
  • Pack all the food in your car. I usually put as much as I can in grocery bags. Secure sloshy items in between towels. Pack paper plates, cups, napkins, plastic forks/spoons/knives, if you can.
  • Prepare written instructions ahead of time if your meal requires any prep. (or have a text ready to send off)
  • Drive slow enough that the people behind you get irritated. (THEY aren't going to have to clean up spilled Beef Barley Soup later on, they can deal. No of course this never happened to me why do you ask?)
  • Carefully carry the food to the door, making several trips as necessary, and watching out for sidewalk cracks. One time my mom was carrying a giant load of food and tripped on a tiny step they had right before their front door. She crashed to her knees, food flying everywhere, and the poor neighbor had to bandage her up before sending her home. (Tragic right??)
  • Deliver the food with warm smiles and hugs. They are having a hard time. This is the part where you get to be human together. It might be awkward; do your best. It is meaningful that you came, no matter how uncomfortable you both may feel.
  • Make sure you communicate that no containers need to be returned.
  • And voila! That's it! Pat yourself on the back. You're a really nice person.