Everyone could benefit from a food circle sometime. Maybe you already have?
It's a great recipe to help a family member, co-worker or neighbour, the best baby shower gift ever and a kindness for someone going through chemo or dealing with loss.
How do I know?
I'm not great at asking for help. But I did when my son was born. I scheduled family, friends and neighbours to drop off a meal a day. It was amazing.
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Food circle benefits:
- Nutritious, healthy meals cooked with love
- No pressure to shop or cook
- No expectations to visit or play host
- A chance to try new things
Here's how I've set up food circles for new-parent friends — there's no "right" way:
Step one: Ask first! Does s/he want one? Are there dietary restrictions?
Step two: Collect food givers' email addresses, phone numbers and/or Twitter handles — maybe post a sign-up sheet at your workplace or organize the circle in-person at a baby shower.
Step three: Make a calendar — shareable or one you manage as "food circle co-ordinator." Check out Meal Train!
Step four: Suggest volunteers prepare dishes that freeze and thaw easily, like chili (vegetarian or meat) or a quiche or frittata made with eggs from happy chickens! I received at least three different vegetarian lasagnas while I was in "newborn baby survival mode". Washed, chopped and ready-to-eat fresh fruit and veggies were a welcome treat, too. Pack food in reusable containers like pickle jars, yogurt containers, etc.
Someone with freezer space who lives near the recipient can volunteer to be the drop-off depot. Or people can make their own deliveries — just confirm the appropriate day and time for the recipient.
Food circle co-ordinator responsibilities
- Schedule food drop-offs. Does the recipient prefer daily or weekly? (For my new parent friends, I had people drop off big portion meals every few days.)
- Co-ordinate or make meal suggestions so the recipient isn't eating lasagna for three weeks.
- Thank participants!
- Check in with recipients to make sure they have what they need.
Will you start a food circle for someone in need? Or share your tips if you've already done one!
Lindsay Coulter, a fellow Queen of Green