4 Easy Steps to Starting a Food Circle

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Food Circle

Written by Lindsay Coulter.

Everyone could benefit from a food circle sometime.

Maybe you already have. It’s a great recipe to help a family member, co-worker or neighbour, the best baby shower gift ever and a kindness for someone going through chemo or dealing with loss.

How do I know?

I’m not great at asking for help. But I did when my son was born. I scheduled family, friends and neighbours to drop off a meal a day. It was amazing.

Listen to my Green Divas Foodie-Phile segment about creating a food circle, then read on for more details.


Food circle benefits:

  • Nutritious, healthy meals cooked with love
  • No pressure to shop or cook
  • No expectations to visit or play host
  • A chance to try new things

Here’s how I’ve set up food circles for new-parent friends—there’s no “right” way:

Step one: Ask first! Does s/he want one? Are there dietary restrictions?

Step two: Collect food givers’ email addresses, phone numbers and/or Twitter handles—maybe post a sign-up sheet at your workplace or organize the circle in-person at a baby shower.

Step three: Make a calendar—shareable or one you manage as “food circle co-ordinator.” Check out Meal Train!

Step four: Suggest volunteers prepare dishes that freeze and thaw easily, like chili (vegetarian or meat) or a quiche or frittata made with eggs from happy chickens! I received at least three different vegetarian lasagnas while I was in “newborn baby survival mode”. Washed, chopped and ready-to-eat fresh fruit and veggies were a welcome treat, too. Pack food in reusable containers like pickle jars, yogurt containers, etc.

Someone with freezer space who lives near the recipient can volunteer to be the drop-off depot. Or people can make their own deliveries—just confirm the appropriate day and time for the recipient.

Food circle coordinator responsibilities

  • Schedule food drop-offs. Does the recipient prefer daily or weekly? (For my new parent friends, I had people drop off big portion meals every few days.)
  • Co-ordinate or make meal suggestions so the recipient isn’t eating lasagna for three weeks.
  • Thank participants!
  • Check in with recipients to make sure they have what they need.

Will you start a food circle for someone in need? Or share your tips if you’ve already done one!

Listen to the full Green Divas Radio Show, which features Jonathan Bloom, author of American Wasteland. He talked about food waste and how important it is we all become more aware…

queen of green lindsay coulterDavid Suzuki’s Queen of Green answers your green living questions and offers tips and recipes to make your life easier on the environment. It’s all about green living made easy!queen of green logo

Holding strong to the roots of the David Suzuki Foundation brand, Lindsay Coulter communicates the small steps to not only inform, but also empower Canadians to live “green” without guilt or the feeling of being overwhelmed. Her voice, tone, and sense of humor has the ability to lift, persuade and sometime shove people out of “what can I do” mode!

The Queen of Green seeks to build an engaged citizenry that starts with actions they can take at home, then into their neighbourhoods and communities to protect nature and improve our quality of life.

About the author / 

David Suzuki Foundation

Our mission is to protect the diversity of nature and our quality of life, now and for the future. We collaborate with Canadians from all walks of life, including government and business, to conserve our environment and find solutions that will create a sustainable Canada through science-based research, education and policy work. Visit us at DavidSuzuki.org

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