Immigrant Health & Cancer Disparities Service: Food to Overcome Outcome Disparities

Many immigrants and other medically underserved people lack the resources to obtain food. In fact, 61 percent of patients served by the Integrated Cancer Care Action Network (ICCAN) are food insecure. Such patients often have worse treatment outcomes and a poorer quality of life than those who have enough to eat.(1)

Food to Overcome Outcome Disparities (FOOD) is working to improve food security among immigrants and other medically underserved people who are undergoing treatment for cancer and other chronic illnesses.

Food Pantries for People with Cancer

In August 2010, FOOD established its first food pantry for patients with cancer in partnership with the Food Bank for New York City. Since then, FOOD has distributed more than 1,600 bags of nourishing food to more than 400 families through our five pantries in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx.

FOOD is currently conducting a clinical trial to study the impact of food vouchers, grocery home delivery, and hospital-based food pantries on cancer treatment, quality of life, food security, and nutritional status.

FOOD Provider Training Course

The FOOD Provider Training Course is designed to educate clinicians about the importance of addressing food intake and access during clinical patient encounters. This training module offers strategies and resources to help providers ensure that patients are food secure throughout their treatment. View our training course and provide feedback on the course. You can also test your knowledge from the course using our curriculum questionnaire.

Partner Organizations

Contact Us

For more information about FOOD program activities, please contact Julia Ramirez at ramirej1@mskcc.org.

For more information about FOOD research, please contact Nicole Roberts at robertsn@mskcc.org.