Condolence baskets and food are a common way to support a grieving family. By providing food, family and friends take on the responsibility of not only providing emotional comfort, but physical support. When considering what to bring or send, a condolence basket and/or food item is an appropriate sympathy gift that offers support and condolence during the family’s difficult time.

Religion and culture often prompt how families and friends practice the customs of visitation, funeral and burial following the death of a loved one. Many friends and family members who want to express their sympathy will do so by giving a condolence basket of food.

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Why are Condolence Baskets or Food Appropriate Condolence Items?

Food baskets that are sent to the home after the funeral provide a meaningful way to show that the family is in your thoughts, while meeting a very practical need. In the early stages of grief, simple tasks like preparing meals are challenging and stressful for the mourning family. Providing food and meals are a thoughtful and heartfelt expression of compassion.

When a death occurs, the family often undergoes not only the stress of mourning, but the demands of time. Normal everyday occurrences such as eating or planning and preparing meals may prove to be a difficulty. It is a kind gesture to provide sympathy baskets containing food items that may be sent to the funeral home, the residence of the mourning family depending on the traditions and customs of the mourning family and circumstances surrounding the loss.

What Kind of Food to Include in the Basket, Platter or Trays?

The choices of food to send may depend upon the relationship shared with the family, traditions and cultures, and the intended purpose of the sympathy gift.

In some traditions, there can be a need for light food during the hours of visitation at the funeral home. Fruits, baked goods, nuts or small sandwiches make appropriate items for this type of food basket.

In addition, it may be appropriate to send lighter snacks, such as chocolates, dried fruits and nuts, fruit baskets or an entire meal may be prepared in a basket, tray or platter that can be delivered to the home of the grieving family and others visiting the home. The days after the funeral are usually difficult for the family to navigate as they return to normal activities. Snacks or meals are a proper and welcome way to help those in mourning during these difficult times.

When to Send the Basket of Food?

When the sympathy basket of food should be sent depends upon the circumstances, type of food being sent, and the traditions and cultures of the family. Food sent during the visitation and funeral services helps provide meals and snacks while the family is away from their home a great deal of the time. This helps meet an immediate need during a difficult time.

Many will choose to send baskets of food in the days following the funeral services. The family is still processing grief as they begin to return to more normal routines. Condolence baskets, along with platters and trays of food items and meals during this time assist the mourning family with the transition and demonstrate care and concern for them during their time of recovery. Generally, sympathy baskets containing food that is sent within thirty days of the death and funeral services are welcomed as sincere expressions of sympathy.

The particular needs of the grieving family will vary. A phone call to the family asking for their schedule and preferences will help make the gift personal, appropriate and meaningful.

Find and Send a Condolence Gift

Select a sympathy gift that helps to comfort family and friends. You can trust’s team of professionals to express your condolences appropriately. You will find the highest-quality products and items carefully selected by the team that are appropriate to send family, friends, colleagues and others.

Gourmet Gifts Baked Goods & Desserts Fruit Baskets Assorted Chocolates

Where to Send the Basket of Food?

Choosing where to send the food also hinges on the nature and purpose of the food, the relationship shared with the family, and the setting of tradition and culture. If the food is intended to help feed the family and friends during the visitation, the basket, tray or platter should be sent to the funeral home.

In some instances, sending the basket of food to the home of the surviving family is meaningful and appropriate. If the family would not recognize the name on the gift card, write a brief statement of the relationship that was shared with the deceased.

Having the basket sent to a workplace demonstrates thoughtfulness as well. This location would be especially meaningful if the relationship shared centers around work.

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