The Tragic Table: Coordinating Meals for Families in Crisis

Hello all, and welcome to My Place to Yours. This week’s Tablescape Thursday post is not at all my usual kind of post, but it’s where I am this week.


If you’ve been reading my last couple of posts, you know I’ve been in Brazil; we just returned yesterday. But the day before leaving for South America, a dear friend died of cancer. It was one of those “she did everything right” cases. Over the past few years she’d worked hard to move from slightly overweight to “fit and trim.” She had regular checkups. But last January she was diagnosed with an invasive and aggressive cancer that managed to evade the best of tests for too long, and her efforts to find a cure weren’t realized. She died at the very young age of 50 and left behind a husband of 38 years, a 20-something married son, and a daughter who just began her senior year in high school.


So how does this post qualify as a “table” post?


When Donna’s family had their world turned upside down (and inside out), friends did what friends often do.  We took food so the family wouldn’t have to worry about cooking. In the process, I was introduced to a website that was invaluable for coordinating the meals. You may already know about this site — or something like it — but in case you don’t, it may come in handy someday when you or a friend has a tragic situation … and putting food on the table is the last thing anyone wants to think about.


The site is called Take Them a Meal.


You can read about how it started here … or click on the link above to go directly to the site.


Rather than passing around sign-up sheets or making phone calls, the meal coordinator simply creates a meal schedule then emails the link to friends who might wish to help. People willing to provide food just sign in … and sign up for a date. They even get a reminder email a few days before it’s their turn!


So next time you know someone who needs some help with meals, you may want to check this out.


As for Donna, I was sad to miss her funeral … but I look forward to the day when I’ll sit down at the ultimate banquet table with her.  Now that’s going to be a tablescape! I hope you’ll be there, too …


The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
thou anointest my head with oil;
my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Psalm 23


I’m linking to Tablescape Thursday
at Between Naps on the Porch.


  1. What a wonderful idea, and a beautiful post.

  2. This is a wonderful idea. I have cooked many meals for friends in need. Always made me feel good and that I was helping them more than I knew. This is a wonderful tribute to your friend. xo,

  3. I’m so sorry to hear about your friend. Thank you so much for sharing this great website!

  4. So very sorry to hear about your dear friend. She was very young.
    Hope you are doing okay. That is a nice website about the meals, very neat!
    I should tell the deaconesses at our church about it, cause we do meals for folks all the time. Thanks for the great information.
    May the Lord be very near you during this difficult time.
    Sincerely, Nellie

  5. I’m sorry for the loss of your dear friend and her family. I pray they find peace in all they are going through. What a beautiful tribute to her.. thank you for sharing the site… hugs ~lynne~

  6. I’m sorry for the loss of your dear friend and her family. I pray they find peace in all they are going through. What a beautiful tribute to her.. thank you for sharing the site… hugs ~lynne~

  7. Your friend was blessed to count you as a friend. You obviously loved here dearly. Thanks for the link. Great resource. Come home safely. Cherry Kay

  8. So sorry to hear of the loss of your dear friend.

    Susan and Bentley

  9. Your loss of a good friend is so hard and I’m sorry for your loss. This site looks like a great help in coordinating meals. Thank you for sharing, I’ve sent this on to our meal coordinator at our church.

  10. Hi lovely lady.
    I’m so sorry to hear about your friend.I hope you are doing Ok.
    I will pray for the family sweet lady.
    XXOO Diane

  11. Hello and greetings from berlin germany. Your post brought tears to my eyes—although I do not know you, I am sorry for the loss of your friend. This website is a great idea. Thank you for sharing.

  12. Great ideas! Thanks for sharing.

  13. I’m so sorry to hear about your friend. I know you’ll miss her here on our pilgrim path.

    I love that idea for coordination and am heading to check out that website next.

  14. Couldn’t get it to open… I’ll try back later.

  15. This is a fantastic idea! Thanks for sharing.
    Hope to se you on my blog:)

  16. May God comfort you during this time of loss and sadness.

  17. This is one of the best ideas I have encountered in a long time. When tragedy strikes, we all want to help, but everyone is in a frenzy. This helps to streamline everything and still be of tremendous help to the family in need. I am sorry to hear about your friend. Thanks for posting, and have a good weekend.

  18. Oh Susan…I have tears in my eyes, just reading about the loss of your friend, Donna! What a wonderfully touching tribute you’ve paid to her by telling others about her life & family & this WONDERFUL idea for a website!

    I grew up in a neighborhood where everyone cooked if there was a death in the family. I think this is a great modern way to continueing that tradition & making it SOOO much easier on the organizers.

    † Bless you for sharing this. †
    Save me a spot at that “ultimate banquet table with her.

  19. I am truly sorry for your loss, Susan. Praying for all her loved ones, especially her young daughter.

    I’ve seen the online meal coordinator and agree it’s so much easier. Again, I love how you’ve shared it here so creatively through Tablescape Thursday.

    Our eyes have not seen the gorgeous tablescape that our King is preparing for us. Hey, want to sit next to each other? I’ll put in a special seating arrangement request. 🙂 I’m sure wherever we sit it will be like nothing we have ever dreamed of.

    Love and blessings,