Need answer fastish: Care pkg ideas?

My college-age son has been at his girlfriend’s family’s house for about 2 weeks now and there is no end in sight to his visit. Plus they are in a California town that falls under the shelter-in-place directive. I feel bad that my son is imposing on their hospitality, though at this point there is no choice.

To say thanks, I’d like to use my Amazon Prime account to send a gift box, ideally with food items that will help the family through the isolation period. (CairoSon says they have plenty of food but GF’s mom is worried about supplies.)

Problem is, I don’t know anything about them except that they are Indian and at least nominally Hindu - GF is first-generation American. They may be vegetarian, I’m not sure. I have the general sense that they’re pretty sophisticated and worldly, but I have no idea if anyone in the house enjoys cooking or what they like to eat. It’s a family of 5 plus two cats and two dogs.

So I thought I’d go for things that are upscale, easy to prepare, vegetarian, likely to appeal to most tastes, and sufficiently unusual that they are likely to still be in stock.

I’m trying to figure out what that might be, and so far the only product I’ve thought of is couscous. And perhaps one package each of treats for dogs and cats.

If you have more ideas, bring 'em on!

I just browsed through the gourmet section of Amazon and found some ideas:

Dried mangoes
Cornbread mix

I’ll check with CairoSon first, though. If they’re all diabetic or someone has a nut allergy, that obviously limits things.

Scone mix and jam? Also chocolate. I like your idea of dried fruit and nuts. Maybe also granola? I see you are in Hawaii, I think favorite local products is often a fun theme, if those things are available.

Yep, macadamia nuts and coffee for Hawaiian treats. Tea and rice are consumed in pretty much every Indian household - not unusual but likely to be appreciated and consumed if you can get them sent. Naan, lentils, spices.

Maybe some card games or board games, too.

Oh that is brilliant! I wonder if I could have Settlers of Catan sent … I’ll find out from my son if they have it yet.

Update: turns out GF’s brother is allergic to nuts and mom is diabetic! Dad loves to cook. Mom is a tea drinker, dad loves coffee. All useful info.

So, I ended up getting Settlers of Catan, the extension to 5-6 players, gourmet dried blueberries, Death Wish coffee, “movie night” popcorn, cat treats, and papadum.

CairoSon’s dad is going to get a mirror-image gift package of a Settlers of Catan expansion pack with 5-6 player extension, gourmet tea, dog treats, possibly some other dried fruit, and will search on “gourmet diabetic-friendly” to find more stuff.

This is highly detailed and not especially thrilling information, but I’m posting it because others may also be thinking about sending care packages to loved ones affected by the current pandemic. It would be great if we could continue to share ideas.

You’re making Settlers of Catan sound very tempting.

It’s a great game unless you play with whiny sore losers.

Do you have access to hand sanitizer, wipes and TP? If so, it would be nice to include that, as they are probably providing those things to your son.

Oh, that’s really smart! I’m in the Seattle suburbs, Ground Zero, so I’m used to everything being sold out, but even my friends in Small Town Pennsyltucky can’t find toilet paper and hand sanitizer. I do suggest that you pack your care package and top off the contents with a piece of lightweight cardboard or wrapping paper or newspaper, anything to provide a barrier to the contents, and put gloves and wipes on top with advice to wipe down anything coming into the house from outside. We get all our mail with gloves on and wipe it down before opening. Then we wash the gloves and leave them to dry and reuse.

What’s wrong with a gift card?

That way they get what they want, not what you think they want.

I’ll admit it’s not very personal but pragmatism has merit as well.

Because they have to go out to spend it.

You can’t redeem an Amazon Gift card on their website?