Remember in college when you used to get care packages from home? Mine were filled to the brim with all kinds of goodies and supplies.
If you ever pine for those cardboard-box surprises, you’ll love the foodie pen pal program. Each month you’ll trade food care packages. How cool is that?
A dietetic intern living in Ohio started the program back in 2011. Since its inception, the number of participants has increased from 30 to over 1000 with separate programs in the US, Canada and the UK. (You can read more about the founder, Lindsay, on her blog The Lean Greenbean.)
Here’s an overview of how the program works:
My first foodie pen pal was Holly Johnson, mother of four, who lives in Alabama and writes the blog Running & Baking, Oh My! She told me she loves chocolate and snack items. I debated about what to send, hoping to choose items that represented both Atlanta and my tastes, while satisfying my pen pal’s chocolate and snacky cravings.
In the end, I settled on a bag of my favorite locally roasted Batdorf & Bronson coffee, a package of gluten-free cheese straws from Marietta-based American Gra-Frutti, and a brownie mix from Virginia Willis’s My Southern Pantry line. (Yes, I cheated and spent more than $15.) You can read what she thought about her care package here.
The care package I received came from a nutrition coach in Ohio. The package was loaded down with goodies like chocolate hazelnut bars, sandwich cookies, Swedish pancake mix and lingonberry preserves. I couldn’t find the handwritten component, so I’m not sure if the items had any significance.
Nevertheless, it was a bountiful box full of surprises — just like mom used to send me in college.
Who plans to join? You can do so here.
–by Jenny Turknett, Food and More blog