The food rescued by Kaibosh has a ripple effect in our community. It’s handed out through more than 60 organisations around the Wellington region, where it ends up reaching thousands of people every month.
At Child Cancer Foundation, some of that food is being divvied out by the box to families who are going through what is without a doubt the most emotionally demanding time in their lives, ticking off the need for those mums and dads to worry so much about meals. Anna Stevenson, Kaibosh’s Lower Hutt Volunteer Manager, spoke with Ciara O’Leary from Child Cancer Foundation to learn more.
Trying to navigate parenthood and the challenges it brings is hard enough for any family, let alone one dealing with a childhood cancer diagnosis. So it’s no surprise that maintaining a healthy lifestyle and the wellbeing of other family members can also be affected by the emotional and financial stresses that come with such news.
Here in Wellington, Kaibosh is committed to helping a fellow charity to ease the strain of childhood cancer, one box of food at a time.
Child Cancer Foundation has worked tirelessly for almost 40 years to maintain hope and strength for families on the child cancer journey. They have a network of Family Support Coordinators who help over 500 families nationwide at any one time, offering financial, emotional and social support, along with practical assistance with the little things families probably haven’t had time to consider.
Families are also welcomed to Child Cancer Foundation’s Family Place on Riddiford Street in Wellington for a coffee, a bite to eat and maybe even to watch a DVD before going to appointments at Wellington Hospital across the road.
And that’s where Kaibosh comes in – Child Cancer Foundation is one of around 60 charities across the Wellington Region that receive fresh Kaibosh food each week.
Kaibosh’s food donations to Child Cancer Foundation have meant they can provide families with fresh fruit when they visit the Family Place, and are able to give food boxes to families in need so they can cook fresh meals at home.
Extensive research has demonstrated the positive effects of good nutrition whilst undergoing cancer treatment. Often, a side effect of treatment is that children experience tender, sore mouths, so stews, soups and other soft, easy-to-swallow meals made with vegetables, meat and other fresh ingredients delivered by Kaibosh are a welcome addition!
Kaibosh has also been able to supply coffee beans to Child Cancer Foundation to use at their Family Place, and as any Wellingtonian will tell you, a good coffee and a friendly chat can help with almost any trying situation.
Ciara O’Leary, Child Cancer Foundation’s Family Support Coordinator for Wellington and Taranaki, explains why these small things make such a big difference.
“When a child is diagnosed with cancer there is a ripple effect through the family. Mum or Dad often have to give up work to become a full-time carer for their sick child. This can place strain on the family’s resources, and day-to-day expenses like household bills, travel costs and even food, can become a challenge.
“With Kaibosh’s support, we are able to provide food to local families who are struggling with grocery costs, removing daily stress and helping to ensure their sick child gets the healthy, nutritional food they need.”
One mother shared with Ciara the difference a Kaibosh food box has made to them, stating that “Receiving food assistance from Kaibosh takes the stress away from meal planning as caring for a family member with cancer is stressful enough. Meals can be planned around the food received which gives me extra time to spend with my loved one.”
Aside from being a supportive and caring soundboard for families on the child cancer journey, Ciara also takes charge of collecting food from Kaibosh and distributing food boxes to Child Cancer Foundation families who need them most. She says that having Kaibosh’s support each week allows her to provide immediate relief to those families with a box or two of fresh, healthy food.
Being one of Kaibosh’s recipient charities also means that Child Cancer Foundation families are aware of the network of support organisations in the community. Conversations around healthy eating and the importance of a good diet are brought to attention with Kaibosh’s fresh fruit on Family Place’s kitchen counter, along with wholesome recipes and nutritional information.
I sat listening, saddened, but also deeply moved by the strength and determination some children have had to show so early on in their lives to fight cancer. Even after Ciara had explained the various mechanisms and tools, organisational and personal support that Child Cancer Foundation gives families, I still had to ask, “how do they do it?’.
Ciara’s reply was, “I often wonder the same, but when I ask, the parents will say to me, ‘We don’t have a choice, we just keep going. ’”
A weekly box of fresh fruit, meat and vegetables may seem insignificant to those not in the throes of what is without a doubt the most emotionally-demanding and taxing time of any parent’s life, but to Child Cancer Foundation families in need, the boxes present a world of much-needed hope.
Words by Anna Stevenson
Photography by Billie Brook
Kaibosh’s September totals came in and show that within just one month they’ve rescued over 17.5 tonnes of quality food, prevented more than 13.5 tonnes of carbon emissions, and provided a whopping 50,240 meals to people in the community through wonderful organisations like Child Cancer Foundation.
We’re stoked to say our 1% donors are a regular part of that impact. We’d love you to learn more about the work Kaibosh do and support them by joining One Percent Collective and choosing them to receive 1% of your income.