Need is Not Always Obvious, but for Neighbors Facing Serious Illness, the Need for Medically-Tailored Meals is Real

- March 2, 2021

Note: March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Please remember to get tested if you are 50 years or older or have a family history. Testing is the surest form of prevention and early detection.

Meet Ronnie–a Food & Friends client who never expected that he would be in need of help. He was retired from a 50-year career in telecommunications when he received his diagnosis of stage 3 colon cancer in March of 2020 after he had put off his colonoscopy. He says his diagnosis shook him, “When they say the C-word your life stops.” Suddenly he faced the challenge of navigating care and scheduling a surgery just as a global pandemic shut everything down.

On top of that, while he was adjusting to the side effects of chemo and a significant surgery, he was also caring for his wife who has mobility challenges. He needed help to tackle it all. A social services worker at Ronnie’s infusion center referred him to Food & Friends for meals and nutrition support. This took the stress of managing his eating with diabetes and cancer, and cooking for his wife when he was feeling unwell off of his shoulders.

Ronnie will tell you it was a huge relief. Since becoming a Food & Friends client, Ronnie’s health has improved. With the help of his meals and nutrition tips from his dietitian Becca, he is managing his blood sugar. The convenience of Food & Friends meals helps him and encourages him to eat when he’s experiencing low energy due to his cancer treatments. Ronnie is so grateful to the volunteers and donors who make Food & Friends’ work possible, “It’s a great system. It’s great for people who are in need. I’m fortunate myself to have signed up for it. And I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”

Food & Friends clients live in all kinds of communities throughout the DMV area.  Because need is not always apparent, you may live in the same neighborhood as a client and not even know it! There is no income requirement to receive our meals–a person must have a qualifying illness or be receiving hospice care, have a compromised nutritional status, and a limited ability to prepare their own meals. This means that Food & Friends clients are cared for free of charge, regardless of their socioeconomic backgrounds.

We believe anyone can get sick and everyone can help. Thank you for supporting Food & Friends to help Ronnie and so many others who are living with a serious or chronic illness.

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