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Meals at Your Door

By Margaret Martin, RD, MS, LDN, CDCES February 17, 2016Pearls of Wisdom Blog

Does just the idea of grocery shopping make you feel tired or exhausted? Does making a home cooked meal zap all your energy? Do you know a cancer survivor who would benefit from a meal delivered to their home?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, a meal delivery service might be a good option for you or for a cancer survivor you know. What can a simple meal delivery service do to help a person with cancer? Home-delivered meals can help people to live more independently at home. These meals provide important nutrients that a cancer survivor may not be able to buy or prepare on their own. Consistent, healthy meals are vital for tolerating cancer treatments and for maintaining quality of life. Malnutrition is the second highest dietary diagnosis in cancer patients.[1] Additionally, if these meals are delivered by family, friends, or neighbors, this person can make sure the cancer survivor is safe and sound.

As a cancer survivor, how can you receive meal delivery at home? You may not qualify or have access to the traditional Meals on Wheels,[2] but there may still be meal options for you. The meal delivery industry is growing rapidly! Let’s look at some of the different options. *

Commercial Meal Delivery Services

To find: Search “home meal delivery for cancer patients.”

A variety of home meal delivery services will pop up when you conduct this simple internet search. Some services provide fresh meals planned specifically for persons with chronic medical issues like cancer. Others offer meals for all persons no matter your health issues. The prices vary and so do the delivery frequency. Some offer single meals, and other companies offer weekly plans.

Examples: Savor Health (Meals to Heal), Moms Meals, GA Foods, Family Chef, and Silver Angles

Nonprofit Meal Delivery Services

To find: Search “free home meal delivery for cancer patients.”

Some organizations offer services similar to commercial meal delivery services for free or at a reduced cost. These programs are often need-based and dependent on a certain diagnosis.

Examples: Magnolia Meals at Home and Meals 2 Heal (Greater Nashville, TN)

Gourmet Meal & Ingredient Boxes

To find: Search “gourmet meal delivery service.”

Are you feeling up to cooking dinner or know someone who is? You may want to look into companies that will ship recipe ingredients to you to prepare one meal or up to an entire week of meals. These food delivery services do the grocery shopping, measuring, and food prep for you and then provide you with an easy-to-follow recipe. Many of the items included in these shipments are even fresh! This method may be more expensive than some of the other meal delivery options.

Examples: Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, Plated, and Peach Dish

Meal Delivery Online Calendars

To find: Search “meal delivery calendars.”

Caring friends and community groups are a great resource for home delivered meals. Your family, friends, and neighbors want to bring you meals. Help them coordinate their meal deliveries so too many meals are not delivered on the same day and to avoid repeat foods. There are many free meal calendars online. You can use these calendars to plan who will bring what meal on which day. You can also provide directions to your home, any special food restrictions, and the time you’d like the meal to arrive.

Examples: Meal Train, Take Them a Meal, Care Calendar, and Food Tidings

Restaurant Food Delivery

To find: Search “restaurant food delivery.”

Food delivery is not just for pizza anymore! Even if the restaurant itself does not offer delivery, you may still be in luck. Many local restaurants are using online services and outsourced drivers to provide home delivery for their customers. You can also use these sites to browse multiple restaurant delivery menus at once, instead of navigating between websites.

Examples: Eat24, Grubhub, Postmates, and Order Up

Local Food Resources

Communities often have agencies, churches, and caring volunteers that provide food for people in need. Call your local United Way by dialing 211 or visit their website to find these agencies and organizations. When you call 211, a real person on the phone will help identify your needs and connect you with the closest places where you can get help, including food needs. The resources vary by community and funding.

If you need meals at home or know someone who does, start looking now! Explore your resources; there are many ways to have a tasty meal arrive at your front door.


*Organizations and companies listed are for examples only and do not indicate any endorsement by PearlPoint Cancer Support.


[1] Susan Bratton, interview with “Today’s Dietitian,” by Leesha Lentz. Last accessed 1 Feb 2016.

[2] The Meals on Wheels (MOW) program provides home delivered meals to people in need several times a week through a system of volunteers. MOW was initiated by the 1965 Older Americans Act (OAA) Nutrition Programs. Today with private and public funding meals are provided to seniors age 60+ with thousands of people on waiting lists to receivemeals.

Margaret Martin, RD, MS, LDN, CDCES

Author Margaret Martin, RD, MS, LDN, CDCES

Nutrition Educator Margaret Martin is a Licensed Dietitian and Nutritionist in the State of Tennessee as well as a Certified Diabetes Educator. Margaret graduated from the University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics and received her Master’s Degree in Nutrition Science & Public Health from the University of Tennessee. With more than 10 years of experience in Clinical Nutrition, Margaret has also worked in the insurance industry with WellPoint Inc. and Blue Cross Blue Shield providing telephonic nutrition consultations, service assistance, and web-based nutrition education. In her free time Margaret volunteers with the American Lung Association’s annual “Lung Force Walk" in Middle Tennessee. She belongs to the Oncology Nutrition & Diabetes Care and Education Dietetic Practice Groups of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

More posts by Margaret Martin, RD, MS, LDN, CDCES

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