Breast Cancer Meal Care provides year-round support for patients

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Breast Cancer Meal Care club poses for a group picture. - Photo via Breast Cancer Meal Care club

The month of October is not just preparing for Halloween and going out to pick pumpkins and apples. For many breast cancer-affected families, this month is known for its representation for all breast cancer patients and survivors. Breast Cancer Awareness Month is celebrated from the first day of October to the last day of October.

Some of Rowan University’s clubs and organizations have already held events for breast cancer patients, but for Breast Cancer Meal Care (BCMC), support does not end after October. BCMC is one of Rowan’s newest clubs to start on campus with its initiative to showcase its support for breast cancer families by delivering meals from local restaurants that are free. 

BCMC was started in November of last year by founder, Ethan Elwell, the president, who wanted to create a way to support families. Elwell expressed that he is thankful for all the members who have joined to volunteer, to deliver the food, or create the packages for the breast cancer patients. He’s already seen a high amount of volunteers, with almost 110 Rowan students being involved and gaining new members each meeting, according to Elwell. 

“When I was seven years old, my mom had breast cancer and my neighbors, they would all bring over meals on different nights of the week,” Elwell said. “I know from experience, bringing a meal helps just to take one less thing off your to-do list.”

Personal experiences have inspired the president of BCMC, to deliver meals to patients who live in Gloucester County and also work with the Inspira Medical Center Mullica Hill. With the help of four local restaurants, Monarch Diner, LaScala’s Fire, Ciconte’s, and Italian Affair, club members deliver meals that can feed a family of four. The Public Relation Chair of BCMC, Sophia Coraggio, explains how the meals are distributed to breast cancer-affected families. 

“Our members pick up the food and deliver it to people who are battling breast cancer. During club meetings, we make “boxes full of sunshine” with small gifts and messages to give to the families to hopefully brighten their day,” Coraggio said. 

Patients in Gloucester County are able to go on BCMC’s website and register for a meal two times a month, from any participating restaurants of their choice. Members of the club pick up the meals at the restaurant and they also create care packages for patients. 

“The goal for the care packages is to show support to the patients. One of the boxes that we make has the theme of “brightening your day”, where all the contents are yellow or involve sunshine. All the boxes that we make are decorated with messages of support and include personal touches from the club members,” said Elwell. 

The club members are dedicated to the cause and put a lot of effort into each package. Vice President of BCMC, Matthew Abode, who is focused on building a strong community within the club where everyone is able to talk and know more about each other. 

“This is something that is so influential where it touches so many people’s hearts because it’s just something that so many people can relate to. They’re eager to join the club, they’re eager to find where we meet,” said Abode. 

For people who are not on campus but still want to support the club, on their website visitors can donate through BCMC’s GoFundMe to fund the care packages for patients. BCMC aims patient to patients to enjoy each meal delivered to them and supports them along their fight. 

BCMC holds meetings every month. The will continue to demonstrate support during Breast Cancer Awareness Month and throughout the rest of the year, so that patients can worry less about what they’ll have for dinner, and focus more on themselves. 

BCMC has delivered over 200 meals to breast cancer families and is hoping to deliver many more. 

To donate to BCMC to help their cause, or if you are a patient that believes you may be eligible for a meal, you can find more information on their website: breastcancermealcare.com.

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