How to Organize Meal Donations for Hospitals and Front-Line Teams

Hospitals and volunteer groups all over the US are turning to Give InKind to organize the overwhelming number of meal donations that are heading to front-line teams. We are here to help these efforts and you can reach our healthcare team anytime at [email protected]. Here is our quick-start guide for setting up a meal train for a hospital or other first responders. Reach out if you have any questions or if your hospital or organization would like to schedule a walk-through.

Setting up a Give InKind page for a hospital or other front-line team
  • Get permission from the hospital: If you are a volunteer or group, it is important to coordinate with the hospital to confirm they are accepting meals and understand restrictions.
  • Identify a contact person at the hospital: Whether you work at a hospital or are organizing on their behalf, you should have a designated contact person who can answer questions and receive deliveries if needed.
  • Gather detailed restrictions and delivery information: Most hospitals are able to take commercially prepared, individually packaged meals and snacks from restaurants, catering companies and coffee shops. You’ll want to know how many people are being served, what time the delivery should arrive, who the delivery driver should call when they arrive, and any specific dietary requests (vegetarian, gluten-free meals, etc).
  • Start building your Give InKind page: Go to and sign up for a free account. Click Create at the top of the page to start your Give InKind page. Follow the steps to get started in 5 minutes. (Note: There is a special Coronavirus selection under Medical).
  • Customize your page: Once you’re on your page, use the Description and Special Notes fields to share all of the details with supporters – it is important to include everything they may need to know about ordering, deliveries, etc., to save as many phone calls to the hospital as possible.
  • Add slots to your Calendar: This is the most important step! You must add items to your calendar for supporters to Claim. You can add as many items as you need, and set them to recurring for as long as you want.
  • Your page is ready to share: Use the social share buttons or post the link to your page anywhere you’d like, including on the hospital’s website or social channels as appropriate.
Some additional tips to consider
  • Consider sharing with supporters local restaurants that are available for take-out and/or delivery, and can prepare pre-packaged meals. Some organizers create Facebook groups to share restaurant specials, or you can share on your Give InKind page.
  • If you are collecting/distributing gift cards for meal delivery or other services, you can add them to your wishlist. If gift cards can not be accepted, you can turn the wishlist off and specify in the page description/notes and in the meal description.
  • If you are organizing for a group of hospital locations, either in your area or for a network of hospitals, reach out to us at [email protected] to have us set up a custom landing page for your group (similar to this one), so all of your pages can be accessed together.
  • By default, there is a Send a Gift Box option on all pages. We are currently sending special front-line care packages when a supporter chooses to send a gift box, but you can have this option removed by emailing us at [email protected].
  1. We are on your team through all of this. If there’s anything we can do to help, just reach out at [email protected]. If you are looking for other ways to use Give InKind Calendars for your community, click here.

Give InKind does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. We have an affiliate relationship with many of the advertisers on our site, and may receive a commission from any products purchased from links in this article. See Terms & Conditions.

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