Help Someone in Need Through the Power of a Good Meal

Meal Train makes organizing dinner drop-offs easy as pie

Special Collections: LEND A HAND


More than 6,000 families receive a meal through Meal Train each day. (g_dasha /

One of the best ways to show someone that you care about them is to offer food. Some of life's most complicated circumstances - birth, death, illness, and surgeries included - are followed by the overwhelming need for a whole lot of help. And whether you are someone who knows how to ask for it or not, the concept of Meal Train makes helping out as easy as could be.

Founded in Burlington, Vermont, Meal Train is a way for loved ones, neighbors, and even strangers, to help with a meal plan for those in need. Whether you want to help new parents who have little to no time to cook, or someone who has lost a loved one and needs extra help to get through the mourning period - food is the ultimate way to offer comfort without overstepping any boundaries.

Since its inception in 2010, the site has been a lifesaver to all hundreds of thousands of people who have used it. The online system organizes meal preferences (including allergies) and preferred dates - designating interested participants and preventing scheduling snafus. In less than seven years, Meal Train's impact has already been colossal: more than five million meals have been organized, 530,000 families have been fed through the organization and more than 6,000 families receive a meal each day.

"To be able to create something that helps so many people is such a joy," the site's founder Michael Laramee says. His most recent estimate is that over two million people in over 40 countries world-wide use Meal Train each month. And the free site is not just a schedule of dinner drop-offs. The interactive calendar, which enables options of receiving email alerts when dates are booked or cancelled, can also coordinate childcare, dog walking, rides, visitors, and more, lending a helping hand in more ways than one.

4 Food Sharing Sites That Bring People Together
One Box of Gourmet Goodies Equals a Donated Meal
6 of the Most Inspiring Pay It Forward Chains

Goodnet was initiated by Shari Arison and is operated by The Ted Arison Family Foundation. Shari Arison is also the initiator of Good Deeds Day. 

Special Collection