CHICAGO (WLS) -- Cancer patients and their families often don't have the time and energy to cook- but Courtney White of the non-profit Culinary Care is working to ensure they have food on the table.
White said she was inspired to found Culinary Care four years ago in memory of her father, who died of lung cancer when she was a teenager.
"Every extra second we had, we were at the hospital," White said. "So my mom had no time to go grocery shopping and prepare a meal... I know from experience the joy and sense of relief these meals can bring."
Culinary Care delivers free meals donated by local restaurants to cancer patients in six area hospitals during their treatment.
In the beginning, White delivered all of the meals herself during her lunch break. Now, it's her full-time job.
"The last thing you should worry about, the last thing you're thinking about is what you're going to eat," White said. "So I created Culinary Care to fill that void."
Rush University Cancer Center infusion nurse Bianca Judge said the meals are helpful to her patients.
"For a lot of patients, just making sure they have a good meal, a nutritious meal, it alleviates a lot of stress," Judge said.
Culinary Care representatives said in a statement that they hope to provide meals to 1,000 cancer patients and their families next year.
Those who want to support Culinary Care can join Judy Hsu as she emcees the organization's third annual cook-off Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Kendall College. The event will feature chefs competing to create the best breast cancer patient-friendly dish, craft cocktails, and samples from last year's winning dishes.
Culinary Care delivers meals to cancer patients at six Chicago hospitals