When someone is fighting cancer, the last thing on their mind may be what their next meal is going to be. One Valley woman, Jennifer Caraway, is helping to keep it that way by delivering meals to them with a smile.
Caraway started The Joy Bus in 2011 while her friend Joy was struggling with cancer. She witnessed how Joy’s support system of food and well wishes helped her to cope with the disease, and wanted to assist those who might not have as many supporters.
Every Thursday, Caraway starts at Crooked Sky Farms in Phoenix, where she picks up free produce donated by the farm.
Caraway, who says she loves cooking because it has a healing effect, then cooks gourmet meals with the local produce and delivers them, with the help of volunteers, to the families of 10 homebound cancer patients. She’s researched the various effects of fresh foods and tries to specialize her meals to patients’ needs, such as using produce that reduces nausea for those going through chemotherapy.
Mindy Figueroa, whose father received meals from Caraway for a year before he died of cancer, told CBS5 The Joy Bus really made a difference in her father’s life.
“Just the little meal, how she preps it, makes it seem like you’re at a restaurant,” Figueroa said. “My dad loved it. It brought joy to him every Friday.”
Caraway has dreams of making The Joy Bus a daily delivery service, instead of weekly.
For more information about The Joy Bus, visit its website at www.thejoybus.org.