What is The Joy Bus?
The Joy Bus is a nonprofit organization trying to relieve the daily struggles of home bound cancer patients with a fresh and healthy meal delivered by a friendly face. It was founded by award winning Chef Jennifer Caraway in honor of her friend, Joy, who struggled with Ovarian Cancer. We spoke with Chef Caraway for more.
How is the Joy Bus doing?
Caraway: “We are open!”
What is the Joy Bus?
Caraway: “What we do is we prepare and deliver free chef inspired meals to home bound cancer patients. We have been around the Valley for a little over a decade now, and we are growing. We are still here, so that is a plus.”
How many people do you serve?
Caraway: “We are currently making 140 home visits each week… We were at 50 pre-pandemic.”
How has the pandemic affected things?
Caraway: “I don’t know if it just brought more awareness to what we were doing or people felt more comfortable asking for help. Regardless I am just happy that we are here and are able to do it.”
Some of the people delivering the meals are cancer survivors themselves, right?
Caraway: “That is true, very true. There is a reason why people are drawn to us, and unfortunately that is one of the biggest reasons.”
This all started around the end of 2011? Give us the story there.
Caraway: “Correct… My friend Joy became ill with ovarian cancer. When she did I was trying to think of a way to help her, because she had a really strong support system that took care of her. So the only way I figured I could help was to cook her beautiful food and just bring it and sit with her. It was that that sparked the idea, of maybe there were people like her that did not have her support.”