World Cancer Day signals a global conversation about a disease that affects millions. At Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, we’re acutely aware of the intersection between fighting cancer and fighting hunger. This World Cancer Day, we’re highlighting the Heimerdinger Foundation, a key partner that allows us to make a difference in the lives of those battling cancer.
Dealing with cancer treatment is both physically and emotionally draining for patients and families. At Second Harvest, we understand that recovery is about more than just medicine. There is a crucial place for nutrient-rich diets in the healing process. For many, especially those stretched thin by medical expenses, maintaining a diet rich in the necessary lean proteins and anti-inflammatory foods can be challenging. This is where the Heimerdinger Foundation steps in.
In 2011, Titans Offensive Coordinator, Mike Heimerdinger, was diagnosed with cancer. In the midst of his family’s struggle, his wife Kathy experienced firsthand the overwhelming challenge of keeping her family fed during cancer treatment. Inspired by a program in California offering meals to those in medical crises, Kathy collaborated with its founder to start a similar initiative in Nashville. Kathy and her volunteers provide nutrient-rich meals to cancer patients throughout their chemotherapy
Now, as they mark the 10th year of this program, over 2700 individuals from families fighting cancer have been fed, with more than 170,000 meals served since.
The Heimerdinger Foundation’s commitment to fresh food is supported by local farms and gardens thanks to the LFPA grant – a crucial resource allowing Second Harvest to acquire surplus produce from local farms. Kathy says, “This grant is game changing for us. It saves so much in food costs.” Recent contributions from Cheekee Greens have introduced exciting new food to their menu, like Quinoa Mac and Cheese, a hearty meal that is dairy-free, gluten-free, and high in protein. These dishes don’t just feed, they heal!
At Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, we believe a plate of food serves a family in more ways than one. This World Cancer Day, we invite you to join us, whether through donations, volunteering, or simply spreading the word. Your support makes a difference. Together, we can provide hope in the face of cancer.