Though it’s normal for someone to help out a neighbor in need, the couple is drawing ire for the specificity of their requests.

By Helen Murphy
April 25, 2019

A Philadelphia couple is facing criticism after posting a crowdsourcing request that asked their neighbors to provide them with free meals and do chores for them after the birth of their first baby.

“As the father-to-be, I’m teetering on a fence of emotions,” Jim Burns, the expectant dad, wrote on the crowdsourcing platform Meal Train, according to the New York Post. His request has since been deleted, but snippets of the post were shared by Twitter user @JJFromTheBronx earlier this month.

“One of the things I’m most afraid of is not getting a great deal of sleep and as a result not being in the best frame of mind to offer my wife the support she needs to recover from the child-birthing process,” Burns continued.

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Though it’s normal for someone to help out a neighbor in need, the couple is drawing ire for the specificity of their requests. Burns provided recipes for dozens of meals, noted specific dietary restrictions including that the couple “avoid[s] sugar” and asked neighbors to contribute chores like vacuuming or doing the dishes if they were unable to cook.

“Turns out they are … asking total strangers to help them and with the most millennial phrasing I have ever seen in my life,” the Twitter user wrote while sharing screenshots.

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The specific recipes that the parents-to-be requested included red lentil, chickpea and coconut soup, banana oat bars and steel-cut oats cooked in milk.

“We’re looking for a ‘check-in train’ to have people check in on us to see if we need or anything as we acclimate to the new routine,” the post read, according to the Twitter screenshots. “That might mean a meal or some snack staples, yes, or it may mean stopping by and walking the dog, or doing some dishes, or simply bringing your smile and some conversation.”

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Social media users sounded off on the couple’s post.

“I just keep thinking that in the time it took him to write up that list, he could have made a bunch of meals in advance and froze them,” one person wrote.

Another chimed in, “#MealTrains are great! Supporting new parents is great! But, uh, normally it’s the *friends* of the new parents that support them with a Meal Train. I have never, ever, seen anything as bizarrely entitled as this.”

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In an interview with the Post, Burns said he was surprised by the negative reaction.

“I apologize if it was taken the wrong way — and I’m frankly just very surprised and a little disheartened by … the response,” he said. “If they are not interested, then they don’t have to check that site or do anything. This is the world we live in.”

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