Every Tuesday in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.

It’s a joke among my mom-friends that I put very little effort into cooking. Once a year or so I get inspired and put together two dozen freezer meals with a vow to keep up this practice until the end times. I’ll let you imagine how successful that is. Mostly I make salads and smoothies, as well as an array of breakfast foods. It’s not that I can’t cook, but I’ve never enjoyed it, and I feel like our diet is pretty balanced and healthy without me spending a whole lot of time in the kitchen.

Even if it’s not comfort food per se, food is a way of offering people comfort, of taking care of those we love by relieving the stress and burden of meal preparations.I watch HGTV and wonder what people do in these big, fancy kitchens they’re always renovating; but, then again, when I said I was hungry the other day, my elder daughter suggested I have some chocolate milk and a protein bar. If it weren’t for my husband and children, that’s probably what I would eat three times a day. I do appreciate good, home-cooked food, though. You know, the kind beyond sticking some fruit and yogurt in the blender or scrambling an egg. It’s one of the ways that both my husband and my mother help take care of my family during difficult times.

A couple of weeks ago, my mom and both of my children made up several freezer meals for some friends who are expecting a new baby any day. I paid for all the supplies and they did all the work; my daughters learned to cook and had a great time with their grandparents. My parents helped my girls make food for my husband and I when we ran a marathon last month too, and that tray of chicken parmesan was a welcome gift as we hobbled up the stairs into our home. Even if it’s not comfort food per se, food is a way of offering people comfort, of taking care of those we love by relieving the stress and burden of meal preparations.

Some of my friends introduced me to the website Take Them A Meal, which describes its purpose: “For those times in life when filling their table will warm their hearts.” By “simplifying meal coordination so friends, family, neighbors and co-workers can show they care,” the website helps a coordinator set up a schedule (with reminders) to deliver meals to those who would benefit from a little help when a new baby enters the family, a loved one passes on, or some other occasion calls for additional assistance.

Take Them A Meal avoids the confusion of doubled up meals or missed days and lets users describe their meal so the recipient does not have a week straight of tuna casserole. There’s also options for sending a meal so those far away can contribute. This system streamlines and simplifies the logistics of care work so that those in need can be blessed and those with the means can be a blessing. I’m not saying the website can multiply loaves and fishes or anything, but it meets a real ministry need and can strengthen communities of care in the process.

So often during times of illness or loss or even the joy of a new family member, people want to help but don’t know how. Sites like Take Them A Meal gives us a tangible, practical outlet for ministering to The Body by caring for the basic needs of the body. In the early days at home with a newborn, even throwing together a salad or a smoothie can seem overwhelming; new parents are often fueled more by adrenaline and caffeine than decent nutrition, and the same holds true for care-workers in many contexts. It’s called care work because it’s hard!

My own culinary motivation may be lacking, but I can still pick up a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store. I can drop off the meal and wash my friends’ dishes on the sly while they take a few minutes break—because care work is a tiring and constant call for our service. I am thankful for all those who care for me and all those for whom I can care, and I can say with certainty that I care because of the One who cares for me.