care package

Idioms & Phrases

care package

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.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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