More than 20% of patients who receive their care at Dartmouth Cancer Center are facing food insecurity. Many of them have to choose between food and treatment. During this season of thanks, we are incredibly grateful for the generosity of private donors and community fundraisers across the region who support the Dartmouth Cancer Center Food Pantry, which is now 100% funded through philanthropic dollars.
"We are trying to remove the stigma and the fear of seeking out food by offering it to them," says Deborah Scriber, Senior Director of Oncology Services. "We think that's been a great strategy and a really great way of making sure that patients and their families get the food that they need."
One idea started by one person and piloted only one year ago has now grown to serve more than 100 patients. But the work is not done. A growing team is looking to expand the food pantry to serve even more patients. Goals for expansion in the next year include:
- Serving all Cancer Center patients in need across all cancer groups.
- Providing two weeks of food every two weeks for patients in need.
- Increasing the variety of foods and supplements offered to patients in need.
Expanding our food pantry will help improve patient outcomes and reduce the stress experienced by cancer patients. As such, earlier this year, The Prouty, Dartmouth Cancer Center's largest annual family fundraiser, earmarked a portion of funds to help grow the food pantry. "This is a community like no other. We are neighbors caring for neighbors," says Scribner.
Nutritious food is medicine and an important part of cancer treatment. If you would like to support the new Dartmouth Cancer Center Food Pantry, to help bring nutrition, support, and hope to cancer patients and their families in our community, please get involved.
With heartfelt gratitude.