Nutrition is an important part of cancer treatment, but preparing healthy meals when you don’t feel good isn’t easy.
The Oregon Cancer Foundation (OCF) in Eugene is testing a program that it hopes will ease the burden of meal preparation for patients undergoing cancer treatment in Lane County. With the help of volunteers, the foundation recently prepared 100 freezer-ready slow cooker meals and distributed them to 10 families.
“The families chosen for the pilot program have applied to us for assistance and have all indicated to us that nutritional support is something that they really need,” says OCF executive director Amy Johnston. “These meals are designed for families to have on hand and ready to put into a slow cooker when they need them.”
A community partnership
Helping to lead this meal preparation effort is Erin Cunning, an independent representative for Wildtree, a company that provides quick and nutritious meal solutions.
“Generally, I do freezer meal workshops with moms who are trying to make their lives easier,” Erin says. “But this is a great option for the Oregon Cancer Foundation to support patients in a new way.”
Each Wildtree meal prep kit makes 10 nutritious meals, each meal serving 4-6 people. Homegrown Delivery Company and Long’s Meat Market are providing the produce and meat used in the meals at a significantly discounted cost to Oregon Cancer Foundation. Erin is also donating her profits from the sale of the Wildtree kits to OCF. She lost her first husband to cancer and understands how valuable this service will be for patients.
“When my husband was sick, people would bring us meals and we got a lot of casseroles,” Erin says. “While it was very thoughtful, I didn’t feel like it was all that healthy. The meals we are preparing for Oregon Cancer Foundation are healthy and will greatly benefit the families who receive them.”
“Cancer takes a heavy load,” Amy says. “Our hope is that this support will be a real help for patients, their family members and their caregivers, and that it relieves a little bit of stress.”
Interested in volunteering?
If all goes as planned during the pilot project, Oregon Cancer Foundation plans to offer the meal service monthly. If you are interested in volunteering to put the meals together, contact the Oregon Cancer Foundation office at 541-632-3654 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.