Amanda Anschutz and her husband Daniel have reached out to the community and the community has welcomed them.
In January, the couple started Compassion Delivered, a nonprofit organization that provides medically tailored meals to people with serious illnesses.
"We are a 501(c)(3) organization. We provide nutritional meals to people coping with chronic, life-threatening illnesses and diseases here in our community at no cost." said Amanda Anschutz of North Canton. "My husband and I truly believe that people should not have to choose between the medical care they need or suffer from the malnutrition and hunger caused by their illnesses or diseases. We recognize that eating healthy is expensive and when you are facing health issues, it’s usually not a top priority, so we are grateful to be able to provide these meals at no cost.”
The meals are funded through individual donations, foundations and corporations, said Anschutz. Deliveries are made on Fridays. Right now, the program is in its infancy stage, but the Anschutzes are looking forward to growing the program in 2018.
What recipients and board members have to say
"This service is really great," said Brenda Joy Callahan of Louisville. "I only have 30 percent capacity in my lungs and it takes a lot of energy and breath to exert to do things like cooking. This program is very helpful to me."
Callahan said many people don't realize how hard it is for people with breathing problems to stand for any length of time.
"It takes energy just to get up and walk into another room," she said. "It can be exhausting. Having this service is great. The food is excellent and the portion sizes are nice. I can spread the meals over more than one day if I choose. It is very helpful."
Compassion Delivered board member, Lynn Gastin, said when the Anschutzes presented their program to her, she knew it was something she wanted to be involved in.
"It isn't as much about the food as it is having someone out there who cares about the clients.," said Gastin of Plain Township, a social worker and director of discharge services at Aultman Hospital. "I have delivered meals with Amanda and have seen how she cares for them."
Meals that are offered include a protein, vegetable and a starch which is approved by a board dietitian. They are not able to provide meals to those with food allergies or specific diet types right now, but the organization is looking into those options for the future.
"When you are talking about life-threatening diseases, you don't know what the outcome will be," said Anschutz. "We want to make their life easier."
They got involved after talking to a cousin who was doing a similar program where he lives out west.
"I sent him money every year to help the organization he worked for, but when my husband and I got married, we talked about it, and started researching the need for a program here," said Anschutz. "We went to Mercy Medical Center and Aultman Hospital and found out the need here for such a program is great. There are about 2,200 people here in Stark County that could benefit from Compassion Delivered services."
Since the program is only in its pilot stage, the Anschutzes are not ready to serve them all, but come January, they are planning to accept more clients.
"This is something we can do to give back to the community," she said. "We both experienced illness with family and friends. We've watched them struggle to maintain a healthy weight and have that support."
Amanda takes care of the business side of the organization and delivers meals. Her husband is the executive chef and creates all the meals, meeting the needs of those they serve.
The organization recently received the Sharing the Good Stark County Award from WHBC.
"We are grateful for our volunteers and others who have helped us get Compassion Delivered off the ground and are looking forward to serving more individuals," said Amanda Anschutz. "I love the county I grew up in (Hartville). We have all had people in our lives that have had illnesses and diseases. I have done a lot of different things, but, for me, to be able to serve the community where I grew up, I believe is where I am meant to be."
Reach Denise at 330-580-8321 or firstname.lastname@example.org; On Twitter: dsauttersREP