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A package or parcel containing food, clothing, or other items sent to someone who lives or is spending time away from home, such as a college student, a child in summer camps, or a person living abroad. The treats my mom sent in her care packages really helped me get through my first year studying in Italy.
A gift package of food or other items not readily available to the recipient, as in While I was in college, Mom sent me a care package of homemade cookies just about every month . This term originated after World War II with CARE, an organization founded to send needed food, clothing, and other items to war-torn nations. By the 1960s the term had been transferred to sending packages of treats to children at camp, students away at school, and the like.
A gift of food or small items sent to a student, camper, or friend. The original CARE (Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe) was founded in 1944 by 22 organizations to work together to help victims of World War II. In a couple of years, CARE packages, usually containing food, were sent to 11 European countries, and in 1948 CARE airlifted food to Berliners behind the Russian blockade. After Europe recovered, CARE continued to assist victims of war, drought, famine, and civil strife in other parts of the world. By then, the name had been extended to packages sent as a gift, and it has become a cliché. An article in Time magazine discussing the mailing of umbilical cord blood, used for many kinds of therapy, had a sidebar: “Care Package. See how mail-in donations work at time. com/cord_blood” (July 26, 2010).
A gift parcel. CARE, the Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere, was an organization that sent more than 100-million cartons of foodstuffs to war-torn Europe from the end of World War II through 1962. The phrase was picked up by soldiers, college students, and sleepaway-camp campers for any gift of goodies they received by mail from home.