DEAR ABBY: I was a bit shocked when I read about the family who disposed of 17 casseroles they were given while they were grieving the loss of a loved one ("Enough Is Too Much," July 5). When my dad died, family flooded into our small town. We got casseroles, too, but more appreciated was the huge plastic container filled with all sorts of sandwiches we could grab when hungry.
Someone else brought a 10-pound bag of coffee and creamers to go with it. Another brought restaurant gift cards, stamps and a box of thank-you notes. Years later, when our son died, many wonderful people gave money. Since he left two children, it was very much appreciated. -- THANKFUL IN WASHINGTON
DEAR THANKFUL: Readers like you were eager to share their opinions -- and experiences -- regarding the tradition of delivering food to a grieving family. The responses were diverse and enlightening. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: If you collect more casseroles than you can handle, why not consider taking them to a homeless shelter? Take them to seniors who aren't able to cook. Take them to a convalescent home or to a library that gives free lunches to the needy. Take them to a food bank. It's awful to throw good food away! -- GAIL IN LOS OSOS, CALIF.
You have free articles remaining.
DEAR ABBY: There's no reason to turn away loving gifts of food. Talk to a few neighbors and store some of the casseroles at their houses, letting them know it's OK to enjoy them if you haven't picked them up in a day or two. -- DENISE IN BAYTOWN, TEXAS
DEAR ABBY: After my husband passed away, several people brought paper products (toilet paper, paper towels, napkins, facial tissue, paper plates and cups, trash sacks, etc.). I have done this for bereaved families as well. Because the family will have lots of people dropping in, a supply of these products will be used and do not need to be stored. -- SUE IN MERRIMAN, NEB.
DEAR ABBY: In my community, we have often organized a sign-up sheet for people to bring meals to a mourning family during a two-week period instead of bringing a casserole immediately. (We also do this in times of illness.) -- LAUREN IN PALO ALTO, CALIF.
DEAR ABBY: We had a celebration of life for my husband in our home. Many people brought food, far more than our family could use. After folks left, we took the casseroles, boxes of chicken and desserts to our fire and police stations. -- KATHRYN IN PEACHTREE CITY, GA.