As we collaborated on a food insecurity solution, we considered how families face food insecurity not only at home but also in the hospital setting. For example, the needs of a family struggling with meal preparation time may differ from an in-patient who has paid for hospital meals for a month or more.
With this in mind, we wanted to give patients and their families a choice in the support they would receive and we landed on a combination of meal delivery services and direct emergency relief.
Freshly meals prioritize nutrition alongside flavor and require only three minutes in the microwave, while Splendid Spoon delivers 100% plant-based meals in addition to several filling smoothie options. With each delivery service, families have flexibility with their delivery date, allowing them to work around time spent at the hospital.
For families who spend a lot of their time at the care center, financial support to cover the cost of meals was critical. We also recognized that for some families, cooking is still preferred for dietary restrictions, culturally significant recipes, or in some cases, it may be the best opportunity for family members to put stress aside and spend time together. For these families, emergency financial relief proved to be the best solution to help them maintain their routine while addressing the burden of food costs during treatment.
Delivering food to people living with cancer on their terms
As we delivered this targeted support to families, we learned more about their nutritional needs and challenges based on the choices they made. Of the 184 families supported with funding from Takeda, 33 families chose meals prepared by Freshly, 18 preferred the plant-based options provided by Splendid Spoon, and 133 families selected the financial assistance to cover the cost of food in the hospital or at home.
Families also shared feedback, letting us know about additional benefits beyond what we imagined.
For Victoria and her family, Splendid Spoon proved to be an ideal solution that not only brought nutritious meals safely to her door but also had meal options that were ideal for the physical limitations she experienced during treatment for head and neck cancer. The surgery she had on her jaw made it difficult to swallow, but Splendid Spoon offered flavorful smoothies that were high in nutrients and protein.
Freshly was the ideal choice for another family, who expressed feeling “less dinner stress after long days at the clinic” thanks to the meal delivery.