Showing hospitality to those in need

Helpful tips for showing hospitality to those in need, like how to extend an offer, coordinate a drop off, and make appropriate conversation.

In times of illness, grief, or recovery, showing hospitality to those in need by the simple act of providing a meal can offer immense comfort and support. Whether someone is recuperating from surgery, battling an illness, or facing loss or challenging times, the gesture of bringing a warm meal can provide nourishment for the body and solace for the soul. Although it might seem daunting to take the first step, it’s a practice that is deeply rewarding and strengthens the bonds of community and friendship. Here’s how you can extend comfort and care through the thoughtful act of delivering meals to those in need.

things you should KNOW when showing hospitality to those in need

Show Empathy and Sensitivity

When reaching out to offer a meal to someone who is sick, recovering, or grieving, it’s essential to approach the situation with empathy and sensitivity. Acknowledge their circumstances with compassion and understanding, and let them know that you’re there to support them in whatever way you can. Don’t try to say the perfect thing- often you can’t. Don’t try to over-empathize by talking about yourself or offer solutions to help them cope, but just show up and be there. Be a good listener. Show respect by allowing them to set the pace and share comfortably.

Simplify Decision-Making

In stressful times, decision-making can be overwhelming. To alleviate any added burden, make the process of accepting a meal as simple as possible. Offer a few easy-to-answer questions, such as inquiring about dietary restrictions or preferences, to ensure that the meal will be suitable and enjoyable for the recipient. Don’t make the offer abstract, but offer a specific time and date. For example, instead of saying, “Let me know if I can do anything…” ask instead, “Would be be okay if I drop off dinner on Tuesday at 6 pm?”

Respect Boundaries and Preferences

Be mindful of the recipient’s boundaries and preferences when offering a meal. Some individuals may have specific dietary restrictions or preferences due to their health condition, so it’s crucial to respect these and tailor the meal accordingly. Offering options that align with their needs demonstrates your consideration and care for their well-being.

things you should DO when showing hospitality to those in need

Coordinate Timing with Care

Timing is key when showing hospitality to those in need, especially to someone who is sick or recovering. Coordinate with the recipient to find a suitable time for delivery that aligns with their schedule and energy levels. Being flexible and accommodating shows that you respect their needs and are considerate of their circumstances.

Include Comforting Extras

Going the extra mile can make a significant difference in brightening someone’s day. Consider adding comforting extras to the meal, such as dinner rolls, or a gallon of tea, a nutritious side dish, or a homemade dessert. You could even bring a bouquet of flowers or an easy breakfast item for the next day. These thoughtful touches can provide both nourishment and a sense of warmth and care during challenging times.

Keep it Simple

It might sounds weird, but it’s possible to both go the extra mile and also keep things simple. If you aren’t the best baker, don’t try to take on a daunting new recipe. Don’t feel like you have to deliver a 5 star meal. It’s more than okay to pick up store bought dinner rolls and a bag of salad! A store bought box of hot tea can be the kindest gesture to someone with the flu. But ultimately the gift you are giving is not the culinary experience, but yourself. You are showing up for someone and letting them know that they are not alone. Keep the practice simple so that it is attainable, and leave yourself room to grow into doing it better and better!

Bringing a meal to someone who is sick or recovering is a gesture of kindness and compassion that can make a world of difference. So, the next time you know someone who could use a little extra care, consider the profound impact you can make by delivering a nourishing meal straight from the heart.

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