Recently, on a spur-of-the moment idea (and an awful pun), the idea of a “Caer Package” came about.
This started when Caerdwyn heard that Mic the Microphone, a friend of his was, having a lean week with regard to getting food into the house. Half as a joke on the lame pun (“Caer” package.. “CARE Package“… get it? har har) and ruthlessly exploiting the fact that Caerdwyn knew Mic’s address, an order through Amazon Prime Pantry was arranged. And, to his friend’s surprise and Caerdwyn’s devlish glee, the package was delivered. Chex Mix and Spaghetti-Os abound!
Okay, joke over. Friend fed, mission accomplished. Right? However, it occurred to us that this could be a Thing. So in a blaze of “pay it forward”, with the help of the illustrious Mic, another person having thin times was identified, their address wheedled out, and Surprise Food arranged. Then another.
And then people started hearing about it, and wanted to do the same. We’ve had a couple of wonderful people ask us how we’ve arranged to do this. Helping folks is contagious.
So, to answer how we go about it, here’s the deal:
- Caerdwyn has an Amazon Prime account. Free shipping for most things, and cheap-cheap shipping for Amazon Prime Pantry (six bucks for a huge box as long as it’s all groceries).
- Mic selects someone from his audience over on Twitch TV or his social media circles that he knows is a good person who needs a little help. If there are any known dietary restrictions, those are weaseled out too.
- Mic ninjas out the “target’s” address. stalk stalk stalk
- Caerdwyn adds the target address to Caerdwyn’s Amazon account address book so things can be drop-shipped to the target.
- Caerdwyn selects enough food to fill one Amazon Prime Pantry box.
- Caerdwyn buys the box and has it delivered to the unsuspecting target’s door. Suddenly food!
- Mic calls out the target on Mic’s Twitch stream and much fun and Chex Mix is had by all!
Lather, rinse, repeat.
This generally costs about 70 dollars per box.
Now, Mic and Caerdwyn have an understanding about how this is done. There is potential for abuse, and we want to keep things positive. Because we like bullet-points, here’s our criteria:
- This is a one-time-per-person thing, not a subsidy. It’s intended to be a happy surprise, to tell these folks that people out there care, and to get them a couple of weeks of breathing space. It’s NOT intended to be a recurring “this is how they eat” thing.
- The person has to have a legitimate need, not just “hey, free food, now I can use my food money to buy weed this week”.
- The person has to be a decent human being. YouTube trolls don’t get Caer Packages, because they’re not decent human beings.
- And, of course, we have to be able to get the person’s address. U.S. only, too, because that’s where Amazon Prime Pantry delivers to.
Generally, the package will be about one third snacks (cookies, crackers, candy), one third “real” food (canned soup, pasta, chili), some drinks, and one joke-item that still would be useful (deodorant, toothpaste, toilet paper).
There is another way we have done this, too. Safeway, a western US grocery chain, has home delivery. It’s free the first time per address. Sign up (you’ll need a unique email address per delivery as well as a unique address), go shopping, check out, and make sure someone will be there to receive it. You can get fresh foods this way. It’s more of a hassle than Amazon Prime Pantry, but the food is generally better (albeit a little pricier).
This is just how we do it. If someone else wants to do something similar but with differences, great! The point is to HELP OTHER PEOPLE, and anything else… method, timing, who the person is… is secondary. Do your own thing, just be good while you do it.
Bottom line: the Internet lets you ship food to people. People are hungry. The next step is… to us… obvious.