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October 17, 2011

Avon Foundation for Women's 2011 Breast Cancer Global Congress

By: Pamela Giller, Development Associate

 This past Friday, October 14th, Food & Friends had the honor of hosting 100 participants of the 2011 Breast Cancer Global Congress. Organized by the Avon Foundation for Women and the U.S. Department of State, the Congress was intended as a venue for sharing best practices for breast cancer outreach, treatment and screening being used across the world. Guests hailed from approximately 40 countries around the globe and included health policy experts, physicians, scientists, advocates and NGO leaders.

As a 10-year beneficiary of The Avon Foundation for Women, Food & Friends was invited to give our international guests a taste of the kind of services a U.S. nonprofit might offer to breast cancer clients. Our Program staff collaborated on a presentation and tour that illustrated both the need for specialized nutrition and our methods of delivering nearly 450,000 meals annually to our clients facing breast cancer.

The interest in the scope and quality of services was palpable as our dietitians answered numerous questions about where all of our food comes from and how we manage to attract 11,000 volunteers to aid in service delivery each year. Our guests had a real “taste” of our program as they enjoyed a delicious and healthy lunch freshly prepared by our Executive Chef, Mark Locraft, in our own Food & Friends kitchen.

In the end, the event marked the beginning of an important dialogue that Food & Friends plans to continue via email with breast cancer experts and service providers around the world. As our Executive Director, Craig Shniderman, so aptly told our guests, “The people you serve may be many miles away, but we think of them as part of our community.” Although our services may only be available in the DC Metro area, it was inspiring to see that our model includes practices that have the potential to benefit people facing breast cancer around the world.

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