Common questions

Glossary:

Meal Train: Organized meal giving around a significant life event. One meal from one person per day.

Meal Train Plus: Organized support including meals, rides, dog walking, visitors and more. Multiple activities and sign ups possible per day, multiple organizers, and date booking for others.

Meal Train Potluck: A shared group meal. One date with multiple people signing up.

Organizer: The person who sets up the meal train.

Recipient: Those who will receive the meals.

Participant/Giver: The person who will make and take a meal.

How to Find a Meal Train and Participate:

To be included, have the organizer, recipient, or a participant send you the unique web address that links to the specific Meal Train (see example) either from within mealtrain.com, via their personal email, or through Facebook. (To protect privacy, Meal Trains are not searchable.)

Example: www.mealtrain.com/qyqn9

Once you receive the unique web address, click it or copy and paste it in the browser bar. You will be directed to your friend's Meal Train where you can see a list of needs and dates available. To participate, click on the 'Volunteer For This' button next to a preferred date/activity and follow the instructions.

Privacy Questions:

Why do I need to have an account to help my friend?

Having an email address and password allows you to create and manage a meal train, book or cancel a meal, receive a reminder email, subscribe to the journal, post to the guest book, and display all of the Meal Trains in which you have been invited to participate.

We take privacy very seriously and do not share or sell personal information. Please check out our privacy policy.

Will you share or sell account information?

Nope, Never, No Way.

How much does it cost to create or participate in a Meal Train?

Nothing. Participating in a Meal Train is free for individuals, groups, congregations, and organizations.

"Organizer & Recipient" Create and Edit Questions:

How do I set up a Meal Train?

Please check out the learn page.

What communication will the Meal Train recipient receive?

Once the Meal Train is created, the recipient will be invited to log in and view/edit the Meal Train. In addition, they will also be notified via email each time someone books or cancels a date.

Can I organize multiple meals per day or other activities like rides to appointments, grocery shopping, lawn mowing, etc.?

Absolutely. Learn more about Meal Train Plus

I have already created a Meal Train but would like to upgrade to Meal Train Plus. How do I do this?

Just log into the Meal Train and select the Make Changes button and click on the button labeled Upgrade to Meal Train Plus.

Can I edit the Meal Train after it has started?

Absolutely. The Organizer or the Recipient can click on the Make Changes button (upper right hand corner of the Calendar) and select Edit Calendar or Edit Event Details.

I am the organizer/recipient but I am not seeing the Make Changes button?

You must be a signed in Organizer or the Recipient with the email address used to log in to mealtrain.com exactly matching the email address listed as the Organizer or Recipient on the Volunteer Info tab. In addition, if you created your mealtrain.com account with Facebook Connect, the email address assigned to your Facebook account must match the email address listed as the Organizer or Recipient.

I just realized I have a conflict and need to cancel a day that someone has already committed to?

If the activity that you would like to remove is already booked, go to the Calendar tab. In the list view, next to each person's name, you will see the text "Make Changes." Click the "Make Changes" button and then click the "Delete" button, which will remove the booked individual AND the date from the calendar. Alternatively, you may click the "Cancel Booking" button which will only remove the individual from the date.

How can I delete a Meal Train?

From the Make Changes page or from your My Dashboard, click on the "Delete This Meal Train" button and follow the instructions.

I would like to set up a Meal Train for an expecting parent, but don't know when the baby will arrive. Ideas?

Schedule one date 3-4 weeks after the baby's due date. This nearly ensures that meals don't arrive before the baby. At this point, you can invite everyone to participate.

Invitation Questions:

Who can view the Meal Train?

Each Meal Train has a unique web address which acts like a key for entry to your Meal Train. Example: www.mealtrain.com/qyqn9 Only those who have this unique address are able to participate. Your Meal Train information is not public.

How do I invite others to the Meal Train?

Option 1: Let friends know on Facebook or Twitter by clicking the "Share" button on the Calendar, Journal, or Donations page.
Option 2: Copy the unique invitation link and paste it into an email message from your personal email account (gmail, yahoo, etc.).
Option 3: Invite participants via mealtrain.com by entering or pasting their email addresses or inviting from past Meal Trains. Click the "Email Invitations" button on the Calendar, Journal, or Donations page to get started.

What is the best way to invite others via Facebook?

Use the Facebook Share button. The window that pops up will allow you to share the link a few different ways:

On your timeline: Good for broadcasting to your contacts
On your friend's timeline: Good for broadcasting to the recipient's contacts
In a private message: Invitations to specific people with the most likelihood of participation
On a Page you Manage: Use this if you have a group page that you are the administrator

Should I include those who do not live locally?

Yes! They can be involved by sending a restaurant gift card, having food delivered, or making a cash donation (if the Meal Train Donation Fund has been activated).

A participant just called and wants to volunteer for a specific open date. How do I include those who do not use email or the internet regularly?

Click on the 'Volunteer For This' button on the date they verbally selected. You will see two options.

Option 1: Book the date for them by selecting their name from the drop down list. (Only available with Meal Train Plus, and the person must first have an active mealtrain.com account). Mealtrain.com will send an email alerting them to the booked date and also send them a reminder email.

Option 2: Book the date for them using your account and enter in the Notes section whom the meal is actually going to come from. Then, when you receive the reminder email, give them a call to let them know it is their turn to participate.

"Giver" Questions:

Will I get a reminder email?

Yes! mealtrain.com sends a reminder email one day before the scheduled date.

Can I change my booked meal date?

Sure. From the Calendar page, select the "Make Changes" button next to your meal. The meal recipient will receive notification of the change and you can book a different date.

What if I realize at the last minute that I cannot deliver a meal?

Please call the meal recipient or organizer to let them know you won’t be making the scheduled delivery.

Why does it say "Make Changes" next to the date I just booked?

This is a way for you to come back and make changes to your meal description or date. You can also cancel your booked date if something comes up.

How can I remove my name from a Meal Train?

On the My Dashboard page, click the remove button to the right of the Meal Train and follow the instructions.

How can I edit my profile?

You can make changes to your account (Name, email, password, address) by logging into the site, with your registered email address and password, and selecting My Account from the drop down list in the upper right corner.

How can I participate if I do not live near the recipient?

You can sign up to receive updates from the journal, schedule local food delivery (just remember to pay for and tip in advance), send restaurant or grocery gift card or offer to drop off a bundle of essential groceries to save the recipient a trip to the store.

I have difficulty finding time to cook but really want to deliver a home cooked meal. Any ideas?

Double a favorite recipe and bring half to the meal recipient. Another option is the next time you make a big meal, freeze half in anticipation of a future Meal Train.

Sign In/Forgot Password Help:

I forgot my password.

Use the Forgot Password feature

When I enter my email address and password, I am redirected to the home page.

This is typically associated with having multiple instances of mealtrain.com open, your browser type, or not logging out of a prior session.

First:

Close ALL instances of any web browsers and possibly restart your computer. Then re-open a new browser window or browser type, enter your email, password, and then click the Sign In button manually. On some browsers, hitting the Enter key just refreshes the page.

Then:

Clear your "cookies" from your web browser. Learn How.

Enable cookies on your computer. Learn How.

I see the following message when I try to log in. "This Email and Password don't match an existing account."

Confirm that the email entered is the address you registered and that it is spelled correctly. Type your email and password (please don't use the copy and paste feature). Then click the Sign In button manually.

Remember that passwords are case sensitive. (Example: PASta is not the same as PasTa). If you have forgotten your password, try resetting your password using Forgot Password. (Don't forget to check your spam filter for the reset email)

I see the following message when I try to reset my password. "This email doesn't match an existing account. Please review the email entered."

Please confirm that the email entered is the address you registered and that it is spelled correctly. Type your email and password (please don't use the copy and paste feature). Then click the Sign In button manually.

The forgot password feature does not appear to be working.

The Forgot Password feature will send a unique "reset" link via email. This link will take you to a "Reset Password" page. Verify that you are using the complete url for the link. Missing even a single letter of the link will redirect you to the home page.

Donation Fund Questions:

What is the Meal Train Donation Fund feature?

The most commonly asked question to us is "How can I participate if I do not live near my friend or have time to cook?" With the Meal Train Donation Fund, we make it simple to allow everyone to participate in a way that works for them. Whether it is cooking a meal, sending a restaurant or grocery gift card or contributing to everyday expenses, mealtrain.com makes it possible for everyone to participate.

How do I include a Donation Fund on a Meal Train?

The Meal Train Donation Fund is available on all Meal Trains. To activate donations, as an organizer or recipient, click on the Make Changes button on the meal train and select the Activate Donations button.

How do I accept donations to my Meal Train Donation Fund?

There are two ways to activate the Meal Train Donation Feature. The first is to activate it during the Meal Train creation process. The second is to activate it after the initial set up. Just return to the Meal Train and click the Make Changes button. Use the "Activate Donations" button to setup the Donation Fund. Then just share your Meal Train unique web address (Example: www.mealtrain.com/mdf4h) with friends, family, co-workers, congregation member, etc.. Visitors who wish to participate by making a donation complete the process on your Meal Train page using a debit or credit card and you instantly receive each payment.

When do I receive the donation?

The Meal Train Donation Fund activator (often the Meal Train organizer) receives notification upon each donation and can instantly request the funds be deposited in their account. They simply click the 'Withdraw' link (found on the Manage Donations button within the Make Changes section of the Meal Train) to request a check or electronic bank transfer.

I am collecting donations on behalf of the Meal Train recipient. How can I get him/her the funds?

By far, the easiest option is for the person who originally activated the donation fund to withdraw the money and send it to the Meal Train recipient via a check or a service like Paypal.

Another option is to transfer the Donation Fund over to the Meal Train recipient. Click the Manage Donations button within the Make Changes section of the Meal Train. Then click the "Change who can withdraw" button, and complete the 2 Step process. Please note you are transferring control of the Meal Train Donation Fund. The Meal Train recipient will become the sole person allowed to make withdrawals. This cannot be undone.

Will mealtrain.com charge the recipient any fees?

If no donations are received, then there are no fees charged. mealtrain.com will automatically deduct a 5% fee from each donation received. In addition, a WePay account is automatically created inside of mealtrain.com during the Donation Fund Set Up process. WePay charges a single fee of 2.9% and $0.30 per transaction for all major credit cards OR 1.0% and $0.30 for bank account payments. These fees are standard across most fund raising sites.

Will my donors get charged any fees?

Nope, donors do not get charged any fees for donating to your Meal Train Donation Fund.

How will I know when people donate?

We send you an email each time somebody donates to your fund. After receiving the email, you'll see the new donation appear in your mealtrain.com Donations tab and added to your overall account balance.

How safe is it to donate?

All payments are securely processed using industry-standard Secure Socket Layer encryption, or SSL. A small security indicator, usually a lock icon or green bar, will appear in the web browser you’re using to verify the security of the transaction. At no time will mealtrain.com request or store sensitive data such as users’ banking information or passwords to payment accounts. Users will securely provide such information only within, and when prompted by their WePay account.

How do I withdraw donations?

We allow either the organizer or the recipient to set up the Meal Train Donate feature, but only the person who set up the Meal Train Donate feature can withdraw the money. To remove money from the Meal Train Donate Feature, simply click the 'Withdraw' link (found on the Manage Donations button within the Make Changes section of the Meal Train). You will be taken to the WePay account where the funds are held. If you set up the Donations on behalf of your friend, just withdraw the money into your account and then route it to your friend via a check or a service like PayPal.

I am the meal recipient and I am not seeing the Withdraw button. What should I do?

To ensure security of the donation account, only the person who activated the Meal Train Donate feature has the ability to withdraw funds from the account. As the Meal Train recipient, we suggest asking the organizer to withdraw the funds and then send you the money via a check or a service like Paypal. If you prefer, you may also ask them to transfer the donation account over to you. To do so, click the Manage Donations button within the Make Changes section of the Meal Train. Then click the "Change who can withdraw" button and follow the 2 Step process. After completing all steps, you will be able to withdraw the funds (See above questions for instructions on how to withdraw).

Question not answered? Contact Us

Send an email to contact@mealtrain.com