- Also CARE package. a package containing food, clothing, or other items sent as necessities to the needy.
- a gift of treats to relatives or friends, especially of items not readily available to them: She sends monthly care packages of homemade cookies to her son at college.
1945, originally CARE package, supplies sent out by “Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe,” established 1945 by U.S. private charities to coordinate delivery of aid packages to displaced persons in Europe after World War II and obviously named for the sake of the acronym. Name reupholstered late 1940s to “Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere,” to reflect its expanded mission.
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.