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Old 10-11-2009, 03:25 PM   #1
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Sending food care packages cross country?

Hello,
I'm new to these forums and thought you all might be able to help me.

The son of some friends of mine is in the hospital after a very serious accident which has left him paralyzed. He will likely be in rehab for 6 months to a year. His mom is staying with him while his younger brother and dad are at home many miles away. I'd love to send the younger brother and dad some homecooked meals as I've heard they are not good cooks! I have no experience with sending food and don't want them to get packages they can't use.

I thought about sending almost-prepared meals that they could just heat or put together - maybe something like uncooked pasta and a jar of homemade sauce. However, I also have no experience in canning or preserving! In your experience, what packages and ships well? Cost is also a factor because I don't have much money to pay for packages that are really heavy or have to be refrigerated.

I just feel like this is one small thing I can do to help them out. Thanks so much for your help and if you are the praying kind, please remember the young man (Robert) in your prayers. Thank you.

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Old 10-11-2009, 03:51 PM   #2
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I would send them gift certificates for local chain restaurants/grocery stores instead. They could go out, or pick up chicken and other deli stuff. I have shipped jams before, they are heavy so I use a prepaid shipping box, weight doesn't matter.
You could ship cookies, brownies, that sort of thing.
For the money, your best bet is the gift certificates.
You could also find out if they have a church group or some other group that might be bringing meals to them, and then contribute $$ to them.
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Old 10-11-2009, 04:02 PM   #3
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I agree with Wyogal 100%.
Distance makes such a difference. Is it normally just a 2 day trip for a piece of mail to reach them? If so, that could matter in how you ship and what you ship.
We live in Florida and I shipped a quart of frozen spaghetti sauce to my husband when he was working in Dallas. It was thawed all but a 2" core, but was fine other than that. But it cost me $25.00 to send it next day air.
If you decide on dry ice you usually have to have special packaging and labels. This is all assuming that what you're sending could spoil in a day or two.
If they have any knowledge at all about cooking you could send all the non spoilage ing. and tell them to just add the meat or whatever and give VERY detailed instructions on how to do it.
I still like the gift cert. idea though. Chili's, KFC, Pizza Hut, etc.
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Old 10-11-2009, 04:07 PM   #4
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My mom sends lefse, but ships it frozen, priority mail, on a Monday. That way I get it that week and it's O.K. One time, though, we weren't home to pick it up and it sat at the post office all weekend. By the time we got it, it was moldy.
I just wouldn't chance it. and the bang for your buck is bigger with the other options.
and yes, dry ice shipping can be dangerous if not done properly. You could go somewhere online and order them something from a place that ships, like Schwann's, Omaha steaks, etc. I'll google it now...
companies that ship cooked food - Google Search
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Old 10-20-2009, 01:16 AM   #5
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I'm suggesting that you google pre-made meals then the name of the town they live in. There are many services these days that will make a meal for two (or more) then deliver them to their home, ready to go in the freezer. They are healthy and delicious. If you can't find them that way, try personal chef, then the name of their town.

Last choice: gift certificates. But make sure they come from places that do take out (chili's, for example). That will end up costing more than the premade meals.

Sending your own cooked food, while a lovely idea, is not a good solution for them. What if they are not home when it is delivered? A lot of good food gone to waste sitting at UPS waiting for them to pick it up.

Omaha steaks and so forth are good, but still requiring cooking. Again, pricey.

Other alternatives: Send them some snack foods, nuts, candy, crackers, trail mix, high end soup mixes, granola, dried fruit - in a box. No gift basket, but send the basket food stuffs. That will keep them happy for quite sometime. No perishables. Get the biggest box that the USPS offers and up to 70 of weight will ship at the same cost. Canned soups or canned chili. Noodles in a box for chinese, thai or japense.

Is that healthy? probably not. But I bet they'd enjoy it. BTW, as an ex-gift basket company owner, send something for the pets, too, if they have any. You've no idea how much that would make them feel good.

Your kind to offer to help.
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