A Guide to Sympathy Meals

By: Matthew Funeral Home
Monday, September 19, 2022

When a friend or family member passes away, people may send sympathy meals to the immediate family. Sympathy meals are a good way to show your support for the family while providing them with a meal. It is easy for those in mourning to not have the time or energy to cook, so sympathy food can be helpful. But, sending the right types of food is also important too.

Comfort Food vs Healthy Food

During times of mourning, it is easy to turn to junk food. But a home-cooked or catered meal from a loved one can be a big help. The important thing is to balance sending comfort food and healthy food. Whether you send some vegetable sides or a hearty soup, it is important to offer your loved ones some healthier options. This can be especially important when considering catered options, where deli sandwiches and chicken parmigiana are often sent. 

Food Allergies

Food allergies can be an important consideration when sending food. Be sure to ask your loved ones about any allergies that may be an issue. While it can be easy to avoid certain common food allergens, like peanuts or strawberries, it is important to know if someone is allergic to gluten for example. 

Send Favorites, Not Classics

Sympathy foods like baked ziti, chicken parm, and casseroles are often sent to families in mourning. And while the gesture is appreciated, eating through 3 trays of chicken parm from 3 different families can be a lot. Consider sending a favorite dish rather than something more generic. Spending the extra time and effort to make a favorite dish can go a long way in brightening their day. 

Additional Considerations

Many families will have loved ones coming in and out of their house throughout this mourning period, so leftovers will probably go to use. However, consider making foods that can keep well in the fridge or freezer, and can be easily reheated. Sending food in tin serving trays can make reheating easier. Call ahead to make sure someone is home before sending catered food or delivering it yourself. Avoid spicy food or unfamiliar ethnic cuisine unless you specifically know that they like it. A tray of wings is about as far into spicy as you should go if you are unsure. If there are young children in the household, keep them in mind when choosing what kinds of food to send.

For over 50 years, Matthew Funeral Home has been serving the Staten Island community. We can help with almost every aspect of your loved one’s memorial service. Our family is here to serve yours, every step of the way.

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