Thursday, March 05, 2009

Meal Sign-Up Management Site

I found a website that is SO useful for coordinating meal donations for families in need. It's called "Food Tidings" ( and I LOVE it! It takes care of the problems of sign-up sheets that are emailed being immediately out-of-date and out-of-synch because people don't Reply All or two families sign up for the same day at the same time. You input information about the family being cared for including allergies and food preferences, email invitations, and then cooks sign up for the date of their choice. And the program sends preparers a reminder email. In fact, I have some Baked Enchiladas to deliver today! Oh, and, BEST OF ALL, it's FREE!!!

This is from their About Us page:

Food Tidings exists to simplify the process of organizing meals for friends or family members in a transitional time of life. For someone who has just had a baby, recovering from surgery or injury, grieving the passing of a loved one, confined to bed rest, and almost anything else, receiving dinners from loved ones can be very comforting and helpful.


For the person who is organizing the schedule and communicating with everyone involved, the process can be a little tedious.

* You have already sent the invite, but then you think of someone else who’d like to participate. You can send an invitation to that person, but no one on the original email sees that you invited them. Now that new person doesn’t know what the most updated schedule is, and everyone else is out of the loop on the day that person signs up for.
* Someone doesn’t hit “Reply All” when they sign up and you have to race to get everyone in the loop with the available dates.
* If someone hasn’t checked their emails for a couple of days and there have been a lot of sign ups, they may not check all their emails before they sign up for a day that has already been taken. Then you have to do “clean up” on the schedule.
* Someone who you invited thinks of someone to invite and doesn’t let you know. Next you are getting an email from someone you didn’t realize was helping and they are signed up on a date that has been filled already.
* You are continually sending the updated schedule to the person you are bringing meals to.
* Someone wants to help organize a meal schedule but doesn’t feel they have the time to manage it. Facing a difficult task, they put it off and it quickly becomes to late and the moment to help in time of need is passed. Now the person who would benefit greatly from receiving the meals will miss out.

It is a worth while cause, but this site is designed to help eliminate some of the time and confusion in coordinating a meal schedule.

Let me know if you try it!

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