How To: Organize a Meal Program for Cancer Patients


When a parent is battling cancer, dinner seems more difficult to make for the family. Organize a meal program amongst your neighbors for the community members that are battling cancer.

  1. Set up a schedule. Determine the times a person should drop off a dinner to your neighbor(s) in need each day for the next four weeks (and update each week). Remember to include lunch on the weekends.
  2. Recruit your volunteers. Try to find people that the family knows in your neighborhood or school, but don’t mention the family name in writing or advertisements. If you need to start making announcements at church, school, or other places, keep the families you help anonymous.
  3. Have your volunteers sign up. Now that the schedule is set, people can commit. Give your volunteers a suggested number of meals that they sign up to make.
  4. Talk to a doctor. Next time you are at the physician or talking to a doctor that you know personally, ask what would be the best food to eat while battling cancer. They know what to eat to boost immunity and aid in the healing process.
  5. Keep track of the meals on a list. The volunteer should tell you what they are cooking so that you can keep track of the variety (not everyone wants Mac and Cheese five nights a week). Also, patients’ immune systems are weak after chemotherapy, so make sure everyone washes or cooks the fruits and vegetables ingredients well.
  6. Deliver the goods. Each volunteer is responsible for delivery on the day of the meal. Call them the night before or that morning to remind him or her, and also follow up that evening that the meal was delivered.
  7. Keep their kitchens stocked. Sometimes patients want to do their own cooking or have snacks available, but he or she may not have the energy to go out shopping during treatment. Give volunteers the option to go food shopping at a farmer’s market and stock up their pantry on the weekends.