One of the first things people do when thinking about helping a friend is offer to bring food. Food is wonderful because it keeps everyone nourished and allows friends and loved ones to show support and care.

There are many things to remember when preparing food for others; dietary restrictions, likes/dislikes, etc., but today let's talk quickly about the logistics.

First of all, unless you live next door and can run over right after the meal is completed, please deliver food in recyclable/disposable containers. A friend who needs food does not need the added responsibility to wash your dishes and get them returned to you.

Second, be respectful of time. If you say you will deliver food at a certain time, be there then, not early and not late. There are many other things going on for your friend right now and showing up 15 minutes early might mean your friend isn't yet dressed, (yes, this can happen at 6pm!) or who knows what else. That said, showing up 15 minutes late can also cause an evening to be put into turmoil. If family is trying to get back to the hospital for visiting hours, or there is strict schedule for timing of taking medication, 15 minutes can make a big difference.

Third, be respectful of space. Unless you have been invited into the house to stay, DO NOT. You can have a super quick hello and hug, but do not plan to make this a lingering visit.

If your friend is going to be having many meals delivered one WFD "pro-tip" is to place a cooler outside, in a shady place, to allow food to be placed there without disturbing anyone. We have created a print-out you are welcome to download and put on both the door and the lid of the cooler.

alt What other tips and suggestions do you have to share?