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    Meal Delivery Made Easy

    January 25, 2010 by Brandy Vencel

    When we first moved to the town in which we now live, we {my husband and I} became involved with a newlywed ministry. We essentially helped co-found this ministry for young married couples. There was an more mature couple “leading” the group, and my husband and I took on an organizational-type role.

    As time went on, this group began to do what newlyweds do: they had babies.

    Lots of babies.

    Because I was one of the organizers, I began to plan meal delivery for these couples. {I also reaped huge benefits when the group reciprocated after a difficult C-section, delivering meals to our family for six weeks.} Back then, meal organization consisted of me typing up a sign-up sheet and passing it around the room, following up with emails, following up with phone calls, and generally spending a lot of time on this one endeavor.

    I didn’t mind this much, though I do remember that once I realized I could email maps via Google my time spent relaying directions over and over was greatly decreased, to my relief.

    At this point in my life, however, it’d be hard for me to organize meals the way I did before. It could be done, but the way I did it required a lot of time, something I had more of when I had only one or two children, and none of them requiring lessons.

    This summer, however, a dear friend had her fifth baby, and I had told her I’d organize meals. I was horrified when I realized that I was going to be out of town right after I got the meals up and running. How could I do this for her when I was gone? How could I make sure this didn’t end up being a disaster?

    Enter Food Tidings.

    This baby does the job efficiently. Once you set up a meal delivery event, it practically runs itself. Of course, you can still type in contact information in case of emergency, but the setup allows for maximum efficiency.

    It’s like the deacons got a deacon, or something.

    This was a big hit within our church. I’ve been emailed many times in the past few months by folks trying to remember the web address when it is their turn to organize a meal for someone grieving, injured, sick, or celebrating a new baby. Everyone agrees: Food Tidings knows exactly what meal organizing is about, and set up a simple, online solution.

    One of my favorite features is that it has a place to enter what you are bringing. No more three-pastas-in-a-week on accident! And there was great rejoicing throughout the land!

    Ahem.

    As I was saying, if you are in the meal delivery organization business, this website is for you. There will always be the handful of folks who do not have internet access, and they can be served the old-fashioned way, because the organizer can go in and manually enter data. On the whole, this will make organizing fast and easy, freeing up your time so that you can make a meal or two yourself.

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    4 Comments

  • Reply Brandy Afterthoughts January 26, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    Ellen,

    That is too bad! I have never heard of anyone getting spam from this. The people who run the site honestly sound like two families who just came up with a good idea.

    The only problem I’ve ever had was that some folks didn’t realize they needed to click the green checkmark in order to save their information. So, I had folks who thought they’d signed up for a certain day, and then someone else signed up for that day because the first person didn’t save their data. Does that make sense? Anyhow, I got to where I included the directions “click the green arrow to save” in my invitation to the schedule, just in case…

    Maybe folks will warm up to it in time…

  • Reply Ellen January 26, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    I tried doing this as a way to streamline meal schedules within different groups. However, I had a big problem with getting it to work. People did not want to sign up and give their email addresses to the website because they were afraid of getting spammed. So it didn’t work for me very well. Boy, I wish it would. It would’ve made things a lot easier. =)

  • Reply Brandy Afterthoughts January 25, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    I hope it helps your church as much as it has helped mine! I have noticed that the last three times I’ve been asked to bring a meal, it has been using the Food Tidings site. This is spreading like wildfire in our area!

    I hated making the phone calls, too. However, I will say that it gave me phone practice, which was a good skill for me to keep up. It’s been a few years, though, so I’ve lost most of those skills. In regard to the introvert conversation, I will say that at the time we led a very leisurely life. My husband worked from home and my world moved at a comfortable speed, which gave me lots more energy for doing things I wouldn’t normally do. I don’t remember it impacting me the way it would now.

    But enough about me: I really think this site is a perfect solution.

  • Reply Mystie January 25, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    Thank you, Brandy! In our church we have one lady in charge of all meal co-ordination and it just passed hands from one with #4-on-the-way-&-#1-needing-lessons (not me), to one with three littles. It has always been a job I have not envied! Of course, partly that’s because I avoid phone-call-jobs like the plague; I hate making phone calls. 🙂

    We have worked out how to utilize the small groups to make the burden on the meal coordinator less, and we’ve talked about online options, but not seriously looked into them. The problem has always been “what about the people who want to serve but aren’t computer/online types?”

    And, then, at the end, you address that. Of course. The coordinator enters their info online for them, but that doesn’t her as much time as calling everyone! I will be sending this info to our new meal coordinator. 🙂 We have a baby boom in the wings (*cough* and I’m hoping it begins in 3 weeks and no more), so it is timely.

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