Culinary Conundrum – Deciphering the Ethics of Meal Trains

Woman in funny curlers sitting at kitchen table and filing nails with thoughtful face expression. Angry wife waiting for husband from work. Young housewife cooking, thinking and making cunning plans

In a recent episode of social media buzz, an individual unveiled a moral dilemma that has set keyboards ablaze with fervent commentary.

The original poster (OP) presented a scenario that exposed the delicate balance between compassion and practicality within the context of a “meal train.”

The tale begins within the heartwarming backdrop of a close-knit church community.

The church’s compassionate tradition involves coordinating meal trains – a network of volunteers signing up to deliver meals to individuals facing a variety of challenges, from welcoming newborns to aiding those grappling with illness.

OP expressed a clear appreciation for this practice, having partaken in it on several occasions. However, last week’s meal train announcement ignited a spark of contemplation within OP’s mind.

Deserving Or Not?

The recipient, a woman named “Sue” had recently returned home after a hospital stay due to severe back pain. The meal train extended an invitation to provide sustenance not just for Sue but for her husband and adult son as well, who both hold full-time jobs.

OP’s ethical gears churned as they grappled with a conundrum: to participate or not to participate.

The crux of the dilemma lay in Sue’s household composition – a husband and adult son, both able-bodied and employed, alongside Sue herself, who did not hold a job.

After thoughtful introspection, OP made a conscious decision to opt out of signing up for the meal train, taking into account her own time constraints stemming from her full-time job.

A friend of Sue later called OP and asked her to contribute to the ‘meal train’ for Sue. At first, OP politely turned down the request stating her tough work routine as the reason. However, when Sue’s friend further pressured OP to prepare meals on the weekends, OP had no choice but to speak her mind.

While OP respected the act of communal support, she also held the belief that Sue’s capable household members were in a position to lend a helping hand.

Hearing this, Sue’s friend had nothing to say further, and she cut the conversation short.

Later, OP shared the incident with her husband, but he surprisingly called out OP for being inconsiderate. He asked her to take time out and cook for Sue and the family on the weekend. This led to an argument, where OP questioned why he wouldn’t sign up to cook for Sue’s family instead.

Perplexed, OP turned to social media to ask if she is wrong or if Sue’s family is abusing the meal train program.

When Kindness Clashes with Practicality

As OP shared the ‘meal train’ drama, the online community quickly turned to voice their opinions.

Beck2010, a commenter suggested a question that struck at the heart of gender norms and expectations.

She advised OP to inquire whether men were being approached as well for this culinary endeavor, thereby shedding light on the potential bias lurking within the altruistic tradition.

In a similar vein, ResponsibleSpite1332 waded into the conversation, prompting an examination of the gender dynamics at play.

“Why is everyone in this story so misogynistic? Not one of the three men mentioned can cook?”

The commenter highlighted the implicit assumption that women bear the responsibility of nurturing through cooking.

An0nym0uswr1ter, continued to question the gender bias at play.

The user’s comment underscored the notion that if OP was to engage in the meal train, it would be deemed commendable. However, the husband’s reluctance to partake seemed to escape the same scrutiny.

Punnymama added a sprinkle of rationale to the discourse.

The user recognized that the meal train program is volunteer-based and that no one should feel coerced into participating.

“It’s a volunteer thing. You shouldn’t be guilted into it. If your partner thinks it’s important, he’s welcome to volunteer his time and effort though.”

Finally, OppositeYouth stepped onto the virtual stage with a dash of candor that left no room for ambiguity.

The user’s statement invoked a higher perspective, speculating how Jesus might respond to this modern-day generosity conundrum. The comment artfully straddled the line between humor and philosophical contemplation.

The Verdict

Majority of the commenters rallied behind OP and questioned traditional gender roles, prompting reflection on societal expectations. Others spotlight practicality, highlighting the role of able-bodied male members of Sue’s family.

In the end, OP’s story serves as a compelling case study of the tension between benevolence and practicality, while highlighting the gender biases that continue to plague society.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments. Do you think the OP from this social media post was wrong?

Featured Image Credit: lacheev /

This article was originally published on Ash & Pri.

Like our content? Be sure to follow us.

DISCLOSURE: The post may contain affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase using these links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. You can read our affiliate disclosure in our privacy policy. This site is not intending to provide financial advice. This is for entertainment only.

Pri Kingston

Ash & Pri are the Founders of and have spent the last decade building their way towards financial freedom and a lifetime of memories. Having successfully achieved their early retirement goal in under 10 years, they look forward to sharing their financial sense with like-minded people. Read more about Ash & Pri in the 'About Us' section.