Do I Eat or Buy Medication?

brought to you by Ernie Ortiz, Food Resource Developer

This past weekend I was invited to a health fair geared at people with cancer. I attended the fair from an invitation from an old friend who works for a large cancer related non-profit. St. Mary’s Food Bank was what I thought the only non-cancer related booth.  As the day went on I realized how wrong I was. 

A number of people from different agencies were extremely interested in how the food bank worked. I heard a number of stories of patients who were in need of food. One story stuck out in my mind.

One young lady was undergoing treatment for Lymphoma (a type of cancer that originates in the lymphatic system). Treatment for her cancer required a lot of medication. I was informed by her friend that she did not have enough to pay for her co-payments and eat at the same time. She had to make a decision to either eat or buy her medication. This broke my heart. I quickly gave her my information and asked her to contact our offices for more information.

This was a perfect example of someone who needed our help. It was also a great example of how a meal can be a life or death situation. 

I was reminded how important my job at the food bank is. I was also reminded how important it is to get involved by volunteering and holding a food drive. Every day we hear of similar stories. Have you come across anyone who may need help?  Have you ever though of holding a food drive?

I coordinate food drives. If you are interested in helping people like the young lady I mentioned, call me at (602) 343-3168 or email me at Thanks!


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Filed under Food Banking, Food Drives, Personal Experience

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