‘A program of love:’ Dine In offers free meals to cancer patients

KENNEWICK, Wash The Tri-Cities Cancer Center Foundation’s Dine In program is kicking off its second year but they need the community’s support to continue.

The program gives patients and their families a free meal every Friday.

Last year, the foundation provided just under 2,000 meals with over $56,000 dollars donated.

Now, officials said they are hoping to double that amount with a goal of 5,500 meals.

Tara Divers, the donor relation’s and stewardship specialist, said they feed around 120 families each week.

“Every single Friday we send our patients home with a meal so they can go into the weekend with some rest, relaxation, and one less thing to worry about,” Divers said.

Divers said when they first began the program last April their initial goal was 500 meals.

Now, they partner with 13 local restaurants allowing the program to help both the patients and the businesses.

“It’s kind of a win-win because we’re helping both,” Divers said. “We get notes from our patients saying how thankful they are. It’s really cool because they will also write hand thank-you notes to the restaurants that they got a meal from.”

Volunteer Hazel Deter said she comes back weekly because seeing the smiles “feels good.”

“The patients just are really appreciative of it,” Deter said. “It makes them happy and they can go home and not have to cook.”

Divers added that in the future they hope to expand the program to keep relieving patient stress.

“When you’re getting treatment sometimes you don’t know what to expect and then they walk out the door and they’re handed a meal,” Divers said. “They’re just blown away that someone bought them that.”

A $30 dollar donation will feed a family of four to six.

You can make an initial payment or join a recurring donation list here.