Culinary treatments is a non-profit organization that has been in existence since 2013, delivering meals to cancer patients, working with restaurants and hospitals in the Chicago area to brighten the days of thousands of people suffering from the disease. Next week, the organization is teaming up with Big Kids, the Logan Square sandwich shop, to raise money for their efforts.
Big Kids’ Ryan Pfeiffer will perform a chef demo, and the group asks for donations. Culinary Care Founder Courtney White schedules the effort to coincide with National day to make lunch count, which is Tuesday April 13. White asks people to donate their lunch money so his group can continue to comfort cancer patients.
They have worked with restaurants like Wazwan, La Shuk, Fat Shallot, BLVD, Beatnik, Doc B’s, Aster Hall, and Bub City. During the pandemic, Culinary Care purchased its meals at restaurants as many went into hibernation.
White’s father, Barry, died of lung cancer in 2006, and she has always been inspired to help others. During his father’s battle, White came to appreciate the support of his community. She grew up in Wilmette, one of Chicago’s wealthiest suburbs. She realized that not everyone had that type of support: “It was one less thing to worry about knowing we had a good meal that we could come home to,” White says.
While his dad wasn’t the healthiest eater, he enjoyed devouring a plate of wings, says White, the family realized how important it was to have a nutritious meal while going back and forth between. hospital and home. Cancer patients also have special needs. Soft foods low in sodium are helpful. Some will lose their taste.
Culinary Care volunteers aim to take the guesswork out of food choices for patients and their families. Even during the pandemic, with hospitals limiting how to enter and with restaurants struggling with meals indoors, Culinary Care delivered 6,500 meals, White says. Culinary Care also pivoted to providing meals to essential health workers and began purchasing meals rather than asking for donations from restaurants.
With these restrictions, White says his job is more important than ever. Quarantines lead to feelings of isolation, and Culinary Care meals can help overcome this feeling of loneliness.
The organization works with facilities such as the University of Chicago Hospital, Northwestern Hospital, Rush University Medical Center, University of Illinois Medical Center, and Evanston Hospital. White has expressed interest in expanding its reach to other facilities, while adding new restaurants. See more information to the link.