Breast cancer patients often find that, in addition to dealing with the physical effects of their breast cancer, they have to also find a way to maintain a normal life for themselves and their families. And preparing food for a specific diet in addition to meals for the family can take up a lot of a patient's time.
But a new pilot program aims to give them that time back.
A collaboration of several different organizations has brought the Meals on Wheels program to breast cancer patients in Andover and the North Shore. The program, called Magnolia Meals at Home, is the first evolution of the Meals on Wheels program to serve breast cancer patients.
The program is providing dozens of meals for patients and their families each month with no cost to them. And eligibility for the program is not dependent on financial status.
Andover-based pharmaceutical company Eisai, a research-based operation that develops cancer-related pharmaceuticals, plays an integral role in the meals delivery program and is using it as a way to have face-to-face relationships with the people that they work everyday to help.
And in order to encourage local Eisai employees to volunteer, the pilot program is being offered to cancer patients in Andover and communities within 20 to 25 miles of Andover.
Christine Verini, an executive director at Eisai, said that the program will take a significant burden off those diagnosed with breast cancer and their families.
“Any diagnosis is challenging for patients and their families. Their meal time is an essential component to their day,” said Verini. “It lessens the burden on the family, allowing them to maintain the normalcy and more easily manage the activities of daily life.”
The program will provide 6 food deliveries to cancer patients and their families each month. Each delivery can contain up to 7 meals for the cancer patient and 10 meals for the family. The meals for cancer patients are designed specifically for their needs and would be time consuming
for the patients to do by themselves.
Linda House, executive vice president of External Affairs at Cancer Support Community said the collaboration between the many groups shows how programs like these can happen if organizations work together.
“I don’t think that any of these groups could do this on their own,” said House. “I think it’s important to highlight the reason behind the formation of the partnership; it’s the ability to leverage the strength of the organizations to serve the patients.”
The program also allows Eisai employees first-hand experience helping the people they design pharmecuticals for.
“It gives a chance for our employees to volunteer,” said Verini. “The program allows us to get to know those who are helping us everyday.”
Contact the individuals below to start the enrollment
Kathy Nugent, LCSW
141 Dayton Street • Ridgewood, New Jersey 07450
Toll-free: 1-800-813-HOPE ext. 6809
Cancer Support Community
1050 17th Street, NW • Suite 500 • Washington, DC 20036
Additional contact information:
Meals On Wheels Association of America
203 S. Union Street • Alexandria, Virginia 22314
100 Tice Boulevard • Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey 07677