Glad you asked! Take Them A Meal is an easy (and free!) online tool for coordinating the delivery of meals to loved ones. If someone is ill, elderly, or welcoming a new baby, oftentimes family, friends, co-workers, and church members rally around these families to take them meals. Our website simplifies this process so that your time and energy can be spent elsewhere.
Yes! Feel free to use it often, and tell your family, friends and co-workers about it. It is absolutely free! (Bonus: No distracting or pesky ads on the screen to compete with your schedule!)
Most meal providers prepare meals in their own kitchens or order local carryout/delivery for the meal recipient(s). We also offer meals that can be shipped to the meal recipient if you live out of town or prefer to have a meal delivered.
Nope. We know you want to support your loved ones so we want to help make that as simple as possible. We do not require people bringing meals to set up an account. Anyone can access the schedule if they have the password or a direct link. We want to make providing meals as accessible as possible for all who want to participate.
That's right. Instead of accounts, our website will recognize you by your email address. So, as long as you use the same email address when creating each new meal schedule, all of your meal schedules and information will be linked together.
Adina Bailey and Scott Rogers created Take Them A Meal. Questions or comments about our site? Send them to info@TakeThemAMeal.com.
YAY! You are a rock star for wanting to help!
To create a meal schedule, click the 'Create a Meal Schedule' link (purple button near the top of our website). Fill out the simple one-page form with the necessary details for providing meals to your recipient. When you're done, click the purple button at the bottom of the page and your meal schedule has been created!
Whatever you think is most helpful. Most often, people who provide meals want to know where and when to bring food, if there are any preferences or allergy concerns, and if there's anything more they can do to help.
Here's a list of questions we've put together to help you.
Of course! If you need to make changes to your schedule after creating it, click the 'Coordinator Login' link (in the upper right corner of your meal schedule page). Enter your admin password and scroll down to make any necessary adjustments.
When you click 'Edit Meal Schedule' in these settings, you'll see the same form you submitted when you initially created your meal schedule. You can make changes as needed. When you finish making edits, just click 'Update Meal Schedule' (purple button at the bottom of the page) and your changes will be saved.
When you are logged into your 'Coordinator Settings', you can change the dates of your meal schedule by clicking on the 'Edit Meal Schedule' link. Scroll down to adjust the dates of when meals are needed, and click 'Update Meal Schedule' at the bottom of the page and your changes will be saved.
Yes! When you are logged into your 'Coordinator Settings', under the green 'Edit Your Meal Schedule' header, click the purple 'Add links' button and you will see fields to enter to your links. Once you've entered the web address and named your link (ex. The Smith's Family Blog), click 'Submit Links' (purple button) to save your links.
No problem at all. In the upper right corner of your meal schedule page, you'll see 'Coordinator Login' (purple button). Just below that is a 'Forgot Password?' link. If you click that, we'll send you an email with a link to reset your admin password.
Yes! Use our 'Multiple Meals Per Day' function. This helpful tool makes it easy to list several needs in one day. For instance, you can: 1) schedule several meals per day - breakfast, lunch, and dinner, 2) ask for parts of a meal to be provided - main dish, sides, dessert, or 3) include other ways to help - dinner, transportation to chemo, ride to doctor, etc.
Find this link under the green 'Edit Your Meal Schedule' header in your 'Coordinator Settings'. Name one, two, or all three fields anything you'd like and then click the 'Update Settings' (purple link). Now your multiple fields will display on your meal schedule.
If there are days when what you've asked for (meals, assistance, etc.) are not needed, you can click the gray button on the far right side of your meal schedule and confirm that you want to cancel (remove) that entry from your meal schedule.
If you'd like to hand select days of a schedule (for instance, if generally you are providing meals on M-W-F, but in one week, you'd like to have meals provided on T-Th instead), use the 'Add Custom Dates' function.
Find this link under the green 'Edit Your Meal Schedule' header in your 'Coordinator Settings'. Click 'Add Custom Dates' (purple link) and you will see your meal schedule with all possible dates. If you'd like to add meals to a particular date, just click the check-box (on the left side of the date) for as many dates as are needed. Then scroll down and click the purple 'Add My Custom Dates' link to save your changes.
To remove dates from your schedule, click the gray button (on the far right side of that date). Then click to confirm that you want to remove that date from the schedule.
To add dates back into your schedule, use the 'Add Custom Dates' tool when you are logged into your 'Coordinator Settings'. Click the check-box (on the left side of the date) to restore any deleted dates. Then scroll down and click the purple 'Add My Custom Dates' link to save your changes.
Once your schedule has been created, just click any of the links under the green 'Invite Friends' banner near the top of your meal schedule page. Use any of these icons to invite friends through email, Facebook (including Messenger), or copy the link to share wherever it's easiest for you to spread the word.
You can also use our 'Invite Friends' tool (visible in your 'Coordinator Settings') to enter email addresses and send invitations that way. If you enter email addresses here, just separate each address with a comma or semicolon.
If you choose to share your meal schedule on Facebook, you control where that information is listed - on a Timeline, in a Group or Page you manage. (Remember, if you post a link to a meal schedule on Facebook, anyone who can view that link can view the meal schedule so make sure you and your recipient are comfortable with your level of sharing.)
We don't notify recipients about a meal schedule being created for them. If you want to provide them with a link to their schedule, feel free to share it with them directly.
You also have the option of adding your recipient's email address to the meal schedule. If you do, then they will then be copied on all reminder emails that are sent (typically one day before a meal is provided).
Yes. If the person providing a meal enters their email address when they sign up, they will receive an email reminder the day before they are to provide the meal.
When someone creates a meal schedule, they will receive an email confirmation of that schedule with the necessary details for accessing and sharing their schedule.
When someone signs up to provide a meal on a meal schedule, they have the option of adding their email address to their sign-up. If they do, they will receive an email reminder (typically one day before the meal is to be provided). If the person providing a meal enters their email address, both the schedule's coordinator and schedule recipient will be copied on this reminder email, as a courtesy.
Reminders are only sent when the person who signed up to provide a meal includes their email address with their sign-up entry. If no email address is listed, then no reminders are sent for that meal.
It's also possible that your email provider may be directing our messages to your spam folder. So be sure to check there too and mark the messages as 'not spam' so they will be sent to your inbox instead.
You can access a meal schedule by clicking a direct link (that's been provided to you). Or you can click the purple 'Find a Meal Schedule' link near the top of our main page. When you click that link, you will be prompted to enter your recipient's last name and password (created by the coordinator when the schedule was made). Once those details have been entered, you can view the meal schedule and sign up!
No problem at all. If you don't have a direct link to the schedule or the password to sign in, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to help connect you. (Please include your recipient's name and/or the name of the person who is coordinating the meal schedule to help us locate that schedule.)
It's super easy. When you are on a meal schedule page, locate the date you want to provide a meal and click the purple 'Take' button. You'll be prompted to enter a few brief details (your name, meal, etc.) and then click the purple 'Sign Up!' button. Your sign-up is reflected on that date on the meal schedule immediately.
In most cases, yes you can. Just click the gray gear icon (on the far right side of your entry). You can then click to either 'Change' or 'Remove' your sign-up.
If you are unable to edit your entry, it's likely because the coordinator adjusted the settings so that only they can make edits to entries on the meal schedule. If that's the case, contact the schedule's coordinator directly to let them know of your need to change your sign-up. You can find their name and contact information at the top left of the meal schedule page.
Our website is a tool to simplify the process of caring for others with meals. Most people make and take a meal from their own kitchen or arrange a local delivery. But, since that's not always possible, we have partnered with a local cafe (here in Virginia) that makes a selection of meals and ships them via FedEx.
You can see these meal selections and place an order in our store.
We want you to do whatever is most helpful for you and your recipient.
For many, that means making and taking a meal from their own kitchen. For others, it's arranging a local delivery service. And for still others, they love the ease of signing up and sending a meal through our website - because it's all done in one step.
If you'd like to send one of our meals, you can visit our store here.
You can also view our store's 'Frequently Asked Questions' here.
Absolutely! Many meal providers like to go this route because it allows their recipient to select not only the meal they want to receive but also choose the day it's sent to them.
A gift card purchase is simple - you pay one fee and your recipient will receive a meal (of their choice) that feeds 3-4 adults and includes a main dish, sides, and dessert. Your gift card purchase also includes the cost to ship your meal to your recipient (frozen via FedEx) so your recipient doesn't have to pay a penny. On top of all that, you can include a personal note with your gift card purchase so your recipient will know exactly what you want to say.
You can purchase a gift card (or several!) here.
Our website will routinely remove inactive schedules so it is not necessary for you to formally close your schedule. If you want to go ahead and end it (either for your own convenience or because your recipient's needs have changed), you can use the 'Disable Meal Schedule' link (found in your 'Coordinator Settings'). This will make it so that your schedule is no longer accessible. Though, as coordinator, you can always choose to reactivate a schedule at any time.
When you are logged into your 'Coordinator Settings', you can use our 'Email Your People' tool to compose a note letting people know the schedule is ending. After sending that message, you can use the 'Disable Meal Schedule' link (also found in your 'Coordinator Settings') to end the schedule. Doing so will make the schedule so that it is no longer visible and no more reminder emails are sent.
Yes. Use the 'Email Your People' tool (found toward the bottom of your 'Coordinator Settings' page). You can choose who to contact and write the message you want to send all within our website. Click 'Send Message' when you're done and we will make sure your people get your message.
Absolutely. Use the 'Email Your People' tool (as described in the answer to the question above).
Yes. You are welcome to post links to your church's meal schedules on your church website. Before doing so, just consider the privacy of the information contained in each meal schedule to make sure you and your recipients are comfortable with the link being posted.
Always use the church office or meal ministry email address for the coordinator address. That way, all of the schedules created for the church will be connected.
An easy way to keep your church's meal schedules easily accessible would be to make the password the same for all your church's schedules.
When entering your recipient's name, you can put their full name in the 'First Name' field and your church's name (or abbreviation) in the 'Last Name' field. Doing so simplifies the log-in process for church members - they know that if they want to provide meals, they only ever need to know the church's name and password.
If you are coordinating food for a memorial service or a church picnic, consider using our other website, PerfectPotluck.com. It's also free to use!
Absolutely! Our website is used by people all over the world to care for their loved ones with meals. So, YES!
Yes! When you are entering your recipient's address into the meal schedule, you will see a gray button that says 'Switch to International Address'. You can click that link and enter the international address.
Unfortunately, no. Meals purchased through our website's store are only available for purchase and shipment within the contiguous (lower) 48 United States.
Absolutely. Your meal schedule is only visible to those with whom you share a link and/or the login information (last name and password).
No way. We hate spam as much as you do!
When you sign up to provide a meal on a schedule, you have the option of including your email address. (It is not required for signing up on a schedule.) When you sign up, you are also given the opportunity to hear from us from time to time but that's your choice. There is a check-box that's easily visible right before you submit your sign-up entry. It reads 'Send me weekly inspiration and meal taking tips from Take Them A Meal'. If you don't want to receive those messages, just uncheck the box and you won't get them. Easy as that.
Absolutely. We value your privacy just as we value our own. So we do not give or sell any of the names, phone numbers, email address, etc. associated with our website.
We created another site, PerfectPotluck.com, that will help make that process easier for you too. (It's also free to use!)
You're so kind! But, unfortunately, we aren't able to match willing meal providers with meal schedules. If you know of a need, however, feel free to create a meal schedule and spread the word!
Almost anybody would appreciate the gift of a meal. (Wouldn't you?) So, pay attention to those around you - consider who might appreciate or benefit from the tangible care and support of meals. There are many obvious reasons why a meal schedule can be created (a new baby, death in the family, etc.) but there are so many more not-so-obvious reasons to create a schedule. And oftentimes, those are the instances when it's most appreciated.
So think about who in your circles is in need of encouragement or a thank you - Your child's classroom teacher? Your church secretary? A neighbor down the street? Or do you know someone who is going through a hard time - Someone who is facing the anniversary of the death of a loved one? Or what about a mom who is at her rope's end trying to potty train her child? Or the person whose child just left for college? There are so many reasons to share the love with a meal.
If you want to learn more about how to care for others with meals, follow us on our social media pages. We're on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. We provide recipes, inspiration, and time-saving tips - all to make taking a meal easier for you.