IMPORTANT: We are recommending all Meal Trains utilize Restaurant or "Contact-Free" delivery when providing support during COVID-19. Learn More

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 multiple meals per day, groceries, tasks and more.

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 is providing support.

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.

If you are not local, or prefer not to cook, you may be able to participate by sending a cash donation (if the Meal Train Donation Fund has been activated) or by sending a gift card.

"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/cancels a date or makes a cash donation (if the Meal Train Donation Fund has been activated). The Recipient will also be sent a reminder email one day prior to each booked date on the calendar. All participants on a Meal Train can manage their email preferences by clicking the link at the bottom of MealTrain.com emails.

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?

Sign in and open the Meal Train. Then select the Make Changes button, followed by the button labeled Upgrade to Meal Train Plus. The URL and all existing sign ups, data, and information will be preserved.

Can I edit the Meal Train after it has started?

Absolutely. The Organizer or the Recipient can click on the Make Changes button to make edits. You will find the Make Changes button by opening the Meal Train. On a desktop or tablet, the button will be at the top of the screen. On a mobile device, the button will be at the bottom of the screen. NOTE: You must be a signed in as an Organizer or the Recipient to see the Make Changes button.

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

You must be signed in as the Organizer or the Recipient of the Meal Train. This means that the email address you sign in with must match either the email address of the Organizer or the email address of the Recipient. You can find those emails by clicking the yellow Review All Instructions button on the Meal Train. If you created your MealTrain.com account with Facebook or Google Sign In, the email address assigned to your Facebook account or Google Sign In must match either the email address of the Organizer or the email address of the Recipient in order to see the Make Changes button.

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?

Sign in and open the Meal Train. Then select the Make Changes button, followed by the "Delete This Meal Train" button.

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.

Can I book a date for someone else?

Yes, the organizer or recipient can select an open date from the calendar and book the date for someone else by listing their name and email address. We will send a notification email and a reminder email in advance of their date.

How do I edit a Meal Train Plus?

Sign in and open the Meal Train Plus. Then select the Make Changes button

To Add: Click the "Edit Calendar" button. Click on the date you would like to add an activity. Enter the Need and Category, then select all the dates this activity is needed. Click Save. Repeat for all additional activities you would like to add to the calendar.

Multiple sign ups per day: For example, you may want multiple visitors each day. You would add multiple Visitor needs to the calendar. The need names could be "Visit 1: 9 to noon", "Visit 2: noon to 3", etc. As you add each need to the calendar, select the day(s) that slot is needed.

Multiple volunteers per meal: For example, you may want to break dinner into parts. To do so, you would create multiple needs for a particular day or days. The need names could be "Dinner Volunteer 1", "Dinner Volunteer 2", etc. Or, to be more specific, the need names could be "Appetizer 1", "Main Dish 1", etc. As you add each need to the calendar, select the day(s) that slot is needed.

To Remove: Go to the Main Meal Train Plus Calendar Tab. In list view, next to each person's name, you will see a "Make Changes" button. Click on the "Make Changes" button. Clicking on "Delete" will remove the booked individual and the date from the calendar. Clicking on "Cancel Booking" will only remove the individual from the date. Each item must be removed individually.

To Sort: The needs for a certain day may be placed in order, provided that they are of the same Category. Preface each need name with a number. Before the need that you would like first place "1.". The next need would be prefaced by "2.", (repeat as needed).

To add instructions to categories: From the Make Changes page, click the "Edit Details" button. Here, for each Category (not Need), you will see a blank text box where you can add more details. For example, if there are needs on the calendar of type "Ride", then a "Ride Instructions" field will be available to you.

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?

From a desktop or tablet:
1: Click the orange "Invite" button on the Meal Train to have MealTrain.com send email invitations for you.
2: Copy the unique invitation link from the Meal Train and paste it into an email message from your personal email account (gmail, yahoo, etc.).
3: Use the Facebook or Twitter share buttons on the Meal Train.

From a mobile device:
1: Click the orange "Invite" button on the Meal Train to access your phone's address book and email program.
2: Click the "View/Email all participants" link on the Meal Train. Then click the "Invite Others" button to invite via MealTrain.com.
3: Click your phone's Share button OR copy and paste the unique web address for the event into a text message.
4: Use the Facebook or Twitter share buttons on the Meal Train.

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

I have organized in the past and would like to reuse an invitation list. Is this possible?

Yes, use the "Import from past events" button.

On a desktop or tablet, open the Meal Train and click the orange "Invite" button. Then click the "Import from past events" button below the address field.

On a mobile device, open the Meal Train and click the "View/Email all participants" link followed by the "Invite Others" button. Then click the "Import from past events" button below the address field.

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: If the participant has an email address, then select "Add Someone New" from the drop down list. Enter the participant's name and email address and book the date. MealTrain.com will send an email alerting them to the booked date and also send them a reminder email.

Option 2: If the participant does not have an email address, book the date using your own name 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?

After booking a date, you will be given the option to receive a reminder email one day before and/or one week 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 signing 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 or cannot cook?

Send the recipient a gift card for local restaurant delivery from Grubhub or DoorDash.

Sign In/Forgot Password Help:

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

Having a user account allows you to create and manage a Meal Train, book or cancel a meal, receive a reminder email, subscribe to updates, 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.

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)

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.

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 for the Organizer or Recipient to click the Make Changes button on the Meal Train followed by the Activate Donations button. Then just share your Meal Train unique web address (Example: www.mealtrain.com/mdf4h) with friends, family, co-workers, congregation member, etc..

When do I receive the donations?

Once the Donation Fund is activated, donations may be accepted on the Meal Train immediately. The Meal Train Donation Fund activator (often the Meal Train organizer) receives notification upon each donation. When a donation is received, the proceeds are placed into an account with our payment processor. The Meal Train Donation Fund activator may request to withdraw any proceeds by electronic bank transfer via our payment processor.

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

To ensure security of the donation account, only the person who is listed as the Donation Fund Organizer has the ability to withdraw funds from the account. If a Donation Fund Organizer has organized donations on your behalf, you have two options: 1.) As the Meal Train Recipient you may ask the Donation Fund Organizer to withdraw the funds and then send you the proceeds via a personal check or a service like PayPal or Venmo. 2.) If you prefer, you and the Donation Fund Organizer may work together to have the Donation Fund transferred to you. Doing so would make you the Donation Fund Organizer. To do so, first you would sign in to MealTrain.com and open the Meal Train. Click the Make Changes button on the Meal Train followed by the Manage Donations button. Then click the "Change who can withdraw" button and follow the steps on the page.

Will my donors get charged any fees?

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

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 have access to or see a donor's sensitive payment information. All processing, transmission, and storage of payment data is handled by our PCI compliant payment processors (Stripe or WePay).

I live outside of the United States. Can I still use the Meal Train Donation Fund feature?

No, at this time the Meal Train Donation Fund feature can only be used to collect donations for recipients living in the United States.

Is my donation tax deductible?

Most donations made on MealTrain.com go directly to a beneficiary rather than a charitable non-profit organization, and therefore are not tax deductible under US tax code.

Financial contributions made directly to MealTrain.com are not tax deductible as MealTrain.com is not a 501(c)3 organization.

Donations may be tax deductible when they go directly to a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization with a government issued EIN. In these cases, the non-profit organization will be responsible for issuing you a tax receipt.

We recommend that you consult with your tax advisor for additional information regarding contributions you may make on MealTrain.com.

Will I need to pay taxes on Donation Funds collected?

As of 2015, the IRS has clarified that MealTrain.com is not required to send a Form 1099-K with respect to payments that are made solely as gifts or donations. The purpose of Form 1099-K is to report payments for the provision of goods or services, which may be subject to tax. Gifts and donations typically are not reported as income by recipients, so it is not necessary to send them a Form 1099-K.


For Donation Funds activated on or after September 26th, 2020 using Stripe.com

How do I withdraw the donations?

The Donation Fund organizer must be signed in to MealTrain.com. Once signed in, the Donation Fund organizer would open the Meal Train and Click the Make Changes button followed by the Manage Donations button. Here, we will guide the Donation Fund organizer through the steps to set up a withdrawal of any funds. As part of the process, the Donation Fund organizer will be given the choice to withdraw the funds themselves, or to grant a Recipient other than themselves permission to withdraw the funds.

How are my funds securely held?

Stripe.com (our third party payment processor) verifies the identity of each Donation Fund Organizer in order to manage risk and to comply with anti-money laundering laws. As part of the identity verification process, Stripe.com may ask the Donation Fund Organizer to provide their date of birth, the last 4 digits of their social security number, and a photo of a government issued ID. This process is generally consistent across all crowdfunding sites and is done in accordance with financial regulations.

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% platform fee from each donation received. In addition, for each donation, a financial transaction/credit card processing fee of 2.9% and $0.30 per transaction will apply. There are no additional recurring fees or fees to withdraw the funds. Card processing and platform fees are generally standard across most fundraising sites.

I have set up withdrawals. How long does it take to receive the funds?

Withdrawals are generally made on a 2 day rolling basis. Funds become available to withdraw 2 days after they are received. Any available funds are automatically withdrawn, assuming a bank account has been linked. For example, donations received on a Tuesday are automatically paid out by Thursday, and donations received on a Friday are automatically paid out by Tuesday.


For Donation Funds activated before September 26th, 2020 using WePay.com

I activated my Donation Fund prior to September 26th, 2020 but never set up withdrawals before November 11, 2020. What can I do?

Unfortunately, after November 11, 2020, WePay.com no longer supports individual fund raising efforts. The collected funds will need to be refunded in full to your givers. Please contact WePay.com to request a refund of donations or contact us via the contact page.

My Donation Fund is no longer collecting Donations?

As part of WePay.com's business decision to stop processing payments for individual fund raising efforts, all existing WePay managed Donation Funds will cease collecting donations on December 15, 2020. If you would like to activate a new Donation Fund through our new payment processor, please contact us at contact@mealtrain.com

Gift Card Questions:

Several participants have stated they are sending gift cards. How do I get them?

MealTrain.com does not actually sell gift cards. The buttons on our site take participants to partner companies where they can purchase gift cards. Participants may choose to purchase from those sites, or from another site of their choosing. We recommend that you reach out to your friend to learn how they intend to get the gift card to you.

I purchased a gift card via a link on MealTrain.com and I have a question. What are my options?

MealTrain.com does not actually sell gift cards. The buttons on our site take you to partner companies who sell gift cards. You would need to follow-up with the appropriate customer service departments for support.

Gruhhub Gift Card Help
(Note: Grubhub gift cards are sold by CashStar Gift Cards)

DoorDash Gift Card Help
(Note: DoorDash gift cards are sold by Launch Gift Cards)

Gift Card Mall Help

Canadian Gift Card Help

Question not answered? Contact Us

Send an email to contact@mealtrain.com