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Agencies Join Carilion to Launch First Clinic-Based Food Pantry for Cancer Patients

Carilion Clinic, Blue Ridge Cancer Care, and Feeding Southwest Virginia have announced the opening of the first clinic-based food pantry dedicated to serving cancer patients undergoing treatment.

Located within Carilion’s Cancer Center, the facility is a shared space where patients can consult with top oncologists from both medical institutions This initiative aims to provide crucial nutritional support tailored to the specific needs of cancer patients.

The pantry, carefully curated by Carilion Oncology Dietician Meredith Kantsios, will offer a selection of foods chosen to address the dietary requirements commonly associated with cancer treatments.

Feeding Southwest Virginia will provide essential food items, including peanut butter, shelf-stable milk, soups, canned fruits and vegetables, pasta, cereal, and beans to stock the pantry. As a partner pantry of the food bank, Feeding Southwest Virginia will continue to be the primary source of medically tailored food for the Cancer Center Pantry. Furthermore, Blue Ridge Cancer Care has pledged ongoing funding to ensure the pantry remains well-stocked.

“Surgery, chemotherapy, and other cancer treatments often result in specific dietary requirements,” noted Carilion Oncology Dietician Meredith Kantsios. “The program is another way for us to extend care beyond the bedside, meeting patients’ nutritional needs and providing treatment.”

Dr. David A. Buck, President of Blue Ridge Cancer Care, emphasized the collaborative effort behind this nutrition assistance initiative and said, “This initiative is a natural progression of our everyday collaboration. There is immense potential to make a positive impact on our patients and in our community. We look forward to exploring what more can be done to make our cancer centers sites of holistic care.”

Pamela Irvine, President and CEO of Feeding Southwest Virginia, said, “We’re proud to partner with Carilion Clinic and Blue Ridge Cancer Care on this innovative food pantry. In the journey of cancer treatment, maintaining proper nutrition is paramount, and we recognize the critical role food plays in the healing process. The pantry is a powerful example of our collaborative efforts with food and medicine and will make a real difference in our neighbors’ lives.”

The clinic-based food pantry represents a significant step forward in holistic cancer care, demonstrating the commitment of these organizations to supporting patients throughout their treatment journey.

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