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What is Meal Train? Hint: It’s Not the Food Car on the Train.

I’m just that kind of person…the kind of person that is always willing to help a friend. My friend Maggie, who recently had surgery, asked if I could coordinate a Meal Train for her. “Of course,” I said. “I’d be happy to do that for you!” Then, a little perplexed, I asked,  “What the heck is a Meal Train?”

Here’s what I learned. Meal Train is an easy way to organize meal deliveries for a friend, neighbor, or family member who needs support. Whether your loved one is dealing with a serious illness, recovering from surgery, or grieving the loss of a loved one, everyone needs to eat. Setting up a Meal Train is a great way to show you care and enables others to do the same.

Best of all, it’s easy to do. You simply need to set up an account on mealtrain.com to get started.  Knowing Maggie’s arm would be immobilized for at least three weeks following rotator cuff surgery, I first talked with Maggie to determine when and how often she would like to receive meals and asked about her food preferences. Next, I entered this information along with when and how often it would be helpful to receive meals.  As we chatted, Maggie and I determined that three meals a week for three to four weeks would work best for Maggie and her husband John. I shared this information with her friends via Meal Train and they hopped on board! 

An additional benefit of the Meal Train for Maggie was all the visitors she had during her recovery. As friends and neighbors delivered meals, Maggie got to connect and catch up with them. AND through the website, all of us who gave Maggie the gift of a home-cooked meal received updates on her condition and many expressions of thanks and gratitude.

On the day of the surgery, John posted a note to let us all know that the surgery went well and Maggie was resting comfortably at home. Five days after the surgery, Maggie sent us a brief note that she was “recovering well.” Ten days post-op, Maggie reported a decrease in pain and wrote: “Thanks for good wishes and lovely meals”. We continue to receive weekly updates and lots of genuine expressions of gratitude.

Meal Train is a great way to give a gift of a meal to a loved one in need.  It is a win-win for all. We get to keep in touch with the person in need on their terms as we deliver a gift of nourishment. It’s important to remember that everyone faces challenges and everyone needs to eat. So please visit mealtrain.com the next time you have a friend, neighbor, or relative in need of support.  As for me, going forward, I will not wait for someone to ask for a Meal Train. I’ll reach out first and call out – ALL ABOARD.

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