By Grace Austin
Meals to Heal to Provide Home Meal Delivery Service for Patients
A former finance executive’s misgivings with patients’ food helped create a new venture designed to increase nutrition. Entrepreneur Susan Bratton brings more than twenty-five years of experience representing healthcare corporations to her new Manhattan-based company, Meals to Heal. The startup will offer weekly home delivery of fresh, nutrient-rich meals to cancer patients throughout the country.
After witnessing close friends and family suffering from cancer, Bratton noticed their need for high-quality foods and the difficulty both patients and caregivers had finding healthy meals that mitigated the side effects of cancer treatment. Lack of proper nutrition contributes to fatigue, weight loss, weakened immune systems, and depression in patients.
“Something had to be done,” says Bratton, founder and CEO of Meals to Heal. “The time and energy it takes to properly prepare food can be extremely taxing on patients, as well as caregivers. [Caregivers] often don’t know what meals will alleviate nutritional side effects. Poor nutrition is indicated in 50 to 80 percent of all cancer patients. We hope to help by bringing balanced nutrition, tailored to help patients manage nutrition-related side effects, right to people’s doors.”
The company was founded in 2011 and began taking orders in May 2012. Bratton invested her own money, and then was able to secure angel investors/private equity from high net-worth individuals.
“So many cancer patients struggle with proper nutrition,” states Dr. Elizabeth Chabner Thompson, MD, who is on the Scientific Advisory Board of Meals to Heal. “A service that provides convenient, safe, and affordable nutrition could help many people undergoing treatment for cancer, supporting them through their treatment and preventing weight loss.”
Orders can be placed online for various meal programs, including five-day and seven-day plans. In addition to home delivery of breakfast, lunch and dinner, patients will receive two daily snacks.
All fare from Meals to Heal is based on the Mediterranean Diet and meets the nutritional standards set forth by the USDA and the IOM.