Food for the Soul

How the Auxiliary Volunteer Services and the Delbert Day Cancer Institute Fund helps care for our community members battling cancer.

On February 28, 2018, the Auxiliary Volunteer Services Board presented Phelps Health Delbert Day Cancer Institute (DDCI) Director Jeremy Stinson with a $14,300 donation to cover one year of lunches for infusion center patients. “The idea of providing lunches for infusion patients was cultivated from a variety of site visits to other comprehensive cancer programs during the development stages of the DDCI,” said Stinson. “The program highlights a commitment on the part of the DDCI to provide optimal care for our patients and seek out new and innovative ways to help our patients throughout their journey.”

Providing over 900 meals in 2018, the DDCI Lunch Program has helped address malnourishment and patient deficits that would otherwise be left uncared for. “It is one less thing that patients have to worry about.”

Prepping with Passion

When first approached about the opportunity to help provide lunches for patients going through infusions for the DDCI, Director of Food Services, Anna Roy, jumped on the chance to give back and make a difference. Each day, members of Anna’s team in Food Services thoughtfully prepare boxed lunches for infusion patients.

“By providing a lunch for them, we can help make their life just a little bit easier.”

“This program plays a vital role. My team knows that each time they box a meal; they are helping someone who is battling cancer.  By providing a lunch for them, we can help make their life just a little bit easier.”

Phelps Health Food Services prepares over 300 meals a day for patients, including the boxed lunches for infusion patients. Each meal plays a significant role in improving the health and wellness of people in our region. “We are a family here. I have a caring team and we are all proud to help our patients in any way that we can,” said Anna.

Sarah Stone prepares meals for patients as part of the DDCI Lunch Program.

Having been with Phelps Health for almost three decades, she has seen a little bit of everything. “Phelps Health is a great organization. When the CEO recognizes you by name and talks to you, that says a lot. I have enormous pride in the work that I do each day and the lives that we touch every day.”

Serving Patients

Volunteer Ron McClanahan has been visiting patients each week since the DDCI Lunch Program launched in 2018. He has seen the incredible impact of the program through the many people he has met over the course of his time at Phelps Health.

“It’s hard getting an infusion, but having somebody walk around and ask about your day or if you want food – it’s very important,” said Ron. “It’s an intangible thing. You feel cared for and that has real meaning to everyone that I visit.”

At the beginning of each shift, Ron arranges the lunches on his rolling cart and heads upstairs to pass out lunches prepared by Phelps Health Food Services.

Ron, an Auxiliary Volunteer Services volunteer, passes out boxed lunches on Tuesdays to patients in the Phelps Health
Delbert Day Cancer Institute.

After handing out the lunches, Ron makes a second round with a different type of cart. Carrying books, beanies, and blankets, this second cart is full of items that bring comfort and joy to patients in the DDCI.

“What we do as volunteers is truly an act of goodwill on behalf of Phelps Health. It’s an extra step in improving health and wellness and the fact that we really care has meaning to each person we visit,” said Ron, of why his work as a volunteer is so impactful.

Through the Auxiliary Volunteer Services (AVS), volunteers like Ron McClanahan both assist and ensure that patients in need are helped. Generous donations from donors to the AVS and the Delbert Day Cancer Institute Fund provide patients the opportunity for a free lunch and comfort items to help them throughout their journey.

A Heart for Giving

Phelps Health Foundation has continued the DDCI Lunch Program into 2019 as part of the Delbert Day Cancer Institute Fund. The Delbert Day Cancer Institute Fund provides comprehensive, patient-centered, cutting-edge cancer care. Because of this fund, many patients are able to receive help with meeting needs for nutrition and patient care.

“This program is important in meeting a need for our community. Phelps Health Foundation is honored to recognize the incredible work the Auxiliary Volunteer Services has done and we are excited to step up and ensure that the DDCI Lunch Program continues,” said Interim Executive Director, Marsha Rana Wayman.

For more information on the DDCI Lunch Program or to make a donation, please contact Marsha Rana Wayman, CFRE, at (573) 458-7946 or