COVID-19 creates hunger emergency for cancer patients; Philly PD & Legacy of Hope respond.

The COVID-19 crisis has affected our country in unique ways, most of which our populations have never experienced before. Our healthiest citizens fear leaving the safety of their homes for staples and groceries due to the risk of exposure to this highly-contagious and devastating virus. This fear may only be superseded by those who are in high-risk populations and no one is at more risk than the immunocompromised cancer patients in our communities.

Legacy of Hope and the ,Philadelphia Police Department have joined forces with ,Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, and ,Brown’s Chef’s Market to quickly and effectively mitigate critical levels of hunger and malnutrition faced by our local cancer patients. Just this week Legacy of Hope was awarded a grant from Philadelphia’s PHL COVID-19 Fund for the extraordinary progress being made to help protect cancer patients during the COVID-19 crisis. At the beginning of this crisis, Legacy of Hope quickly scaled its operations to begin delivering two weeks of groceries at no cost to 96 cancer patients and their families every month. We are working around the clock with hospitals, the Philadelphia Police, and corporate partners to continue providing emergency support to an increasing number of cancer patients across Philadelphia. Here’s what we’re doing to help:

1. Cancer patients and families facing imminent hunger and other critical issues are identified by oncology social workers, who then work closely with Legacy of Hope’s ,,Patient Support team. The team is able to quickly identify critical needs specific to each patient and provide emergency support.

2. Brown’s Chef’s Market, the parent company of ShopRite and The Fresh Grocer, receives and manages grocery orders out of three locations. As the initiative grows, this operation will expand to more locations.

3. Philadelphia Police officers drive to three grocery stores every week, load the groceries curbside, and then deliver each set of groceries to the homes of cancer patients across Philadelphia.

Cancer patients are being disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic due to their weakened immune systems. Patients are cautioned against leaving their homes and risking exposure, while healthy family members also avoid venturing into public areas for fear of bringing the virus home with them. Developing this program required a dedicated and focused effort by every organization in this multilateral partnership, but it has proven essential for so many Philadelphia cancer patients, including Mr. C.

An independent resident in a senior citizen’s home, 68-year-old Mr. C was diagnosed in April of 2018 with cancer, and has since been experiencing dire financial hardship. Most months, Mr. C must choose between groceries and his electric bill. He states, “Sometimes I’m afraid to get the mail because I don’t know if I’ll get another bill that I can’t handle.” He adds, “It’s tough enough having a cancer diagnosis, but not knowing when you’re going to eat is a whole different thing.”

Fortunately for Mr. C and countless of others in Philadelphia battling cancer; providing groceries and making rent or utility payments is nothing new to Legacy of Hope. Every month Legacy of Hope provides groceries and other essentials such as clothes and school supplies for dozens of patients and families. Our team prevents eviction and homelessness by providing rent and mortgage payments, oftentimes renegotiating on behalf of a patient so future living accommodations will be more affordable. Electric and gas companies are on our speed dial so we can keep services turned on for patients who must choose which bills, if any, to pay each month.

“There’s nobody else I can ask for help, you came along at just the right time and I can’t thank you enough,” Mr. C told us. “I’m thoroughly and truthfully so grateful.”

If our organization is the engine to provide support for cancer patients in their greatest time of need, your donations are the fuel that keeps us running. ,Please consider donating what you can and spread the word so we can continue to expand our efforts, so no cancer patient or family goes without food during this COVID-19 crisis.

#legacyofhope #acityunited #phlcovid19fund #skcc #phillypd

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Nia Andrews

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Rebecca Blinn

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Carol Sollenberger

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Maree Lavo

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Bryan Lathrop

Bio Coming Soon

Kimberly S. Reed

An award winning international speaker, author, corporate trainer and diversity, equality and inclusion executive, nationally recognized thought leader, expert, strategist and advisor to some of the world’s most influential organizations in global professional services, health care, financial services, consumer products and pharmaceutical industries.

Kimberly is a seasoned leader in transforming organizations into high-performing enterprises and challenging leaders to live without limits, with more than 20 years of HR, talent acquisition, and diversity & inclusion experience; successfully turning around troubled diversity practices by designing, building, leading, and shaping high-performing cultures at global organizations with robust strategies, global employee development programs and enterprise-wide initiatives that have increased revenue growth and organizational brand eminence.

Michele Redrow

Michele is a Director on the Legacy of Hope board and also serves on the Executive Committee.

mary chicorelli

Professional:  Mary is a certified city planner for Philadelphia, a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association as well as the Philadelphia Bar Association, and the Pro Bono Honor Roll First Judicial District of Philadelphia.

Bio: Mary’s insight into the legal world is invaluable to Legacy of Hope, both in keeping our daily operations moving fluidly as well as making connections for our patients and their families when needed.

“Michael reached out to me about 2 years ago through mutual friends. We worked together to help a woman with stage 4 cancer get her electricity turned back on after it was shut off during the winter. I’ve been 100% supportive of Mike’s vision since then.”

joseph ruggieri, jr

Education: Bachelor’s of Science from West Chester University in Management and Finance

Bio: As a member of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.’s upper management team, Joseph brings a wealth of knowledge regarding finances, management, team-building and planning to the Legacy of Hope board. Joseph linked up with Michael, our President, and Wells Fargo began supporting Legacy of Hope annually.

“My father passed away from what started as Colon Cancer in 2015. Cancer is horrible and if there is something I can do to help others impacted I would want to be a part of it.”

David April

David is the founder of the Fishtown Beer Runners, an organization with chapters all over the world based here in Philadelphia.

dr. kevin kelly

Dr. Kevin Kelly leads Legacy of Hope’s Scientific Review Board to seek out and support the most promising cancer research in Philadelphia using a merit-based system.  He is Jefferson’s Director of Solid Tumor Oncology.

greg garber

Greg Garber is the director of Oncology Support Services at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center.

Gina Mancuso

Gina’s experience as the very successful co-owner of CoreFitness, LLC coupled with her expertise in planning special events makes her the perfect Vice President for Legacy of Hope. With energy, passion, and drive that makes her seem superhuman, Gina’s connection to our mission is a personal one.

“Both my father and my dear childhood friend were diagnosed with cancer within 3 months of one another. They were surrounded and supported by friends and family throughout their battle and until their passing. No one should suffer through a diagnosis alone and, without Legacy of Hope, some people would do just that.”

Michael Rowe


Volatile Media Management’s Mover, Shaker, Changemaker Award – February 2017

Miles Mack Community Services & Leadership Honorable Mention – 2016 TJUH Emergency Department Technician of the Year, Physicians Choice Award – 2015

TJUH Emergency Department Technician of the Year, Physicians Choice Award – 2014


With his free time so limited, Michael manages to fuse his work with his other passion: running. Whether it is with the Fishtown Beer Runners, our own Team Relentless Hope, or his closest friends, Michael can often be spotted on the streets of Philadelphia keeping himself fit and active.