Why MANNA Matters as Part of My Healthcare

South Philly resident Peter Clayton is 80 years old, diabetic, on oxygen 24/7 and sometimes can't even walk five feet before needing a break. Here, he shares the comfort in receiving meals from MANNA for himself and his wife.

MANNA has been a big relief for my wife and me. I’ll be 80 in June and I just don’t get around as well as I used to. I have issues with my breathing so I’m on oxygen 24/7 and I am diabetic.  My wife walks with a cane and doesn’t get around that well either. We live in a row home in South Philly.

I’ve been working with MANNA for about a month and so far, so good. Dr. Marie Kairys, my physician at Jefferson, explained some of the programs I was entitled to and some of the good things that people can do to help. That’s how we got started with MANNA. They deliver meals to people who have serious illnesses and can’t easily get good food.

They remembered. They cared. And that was a relief.

The greatest thing about MANNA has been knowing that we’re going to have food to eat for the week. With my lungs, I can’t walk five feet sometimes without taking a break. We’re probably in the house about 99% of the time, so we’re pretty much housebound. It’s been a lot less pressure, not having to worry about getting out or having to worry about finding someone to go to the store for us.

MANNA comes once a week – on Tuesday – and they bring enough food for the week. I had a problem last week because I forgot that I had a doctor’s appointment down at the Navy Yard on Tuesday. So I called them on Monday and left a message that we wouldn’t be home when they usually deliver. They remembered. They cared. And that was a relief.

It’s only been about a month, but I think MANNA has helped. I’m on insulin and steroids because my blood sugar was all out of whack. Now they’re taking me off the steroids because my blood sugar seems to be pretty steady now. I still have to watch what I eat as far as my sugar intake goes, but I think the meals from MANNA are definitely helping.

There are good things people can do to help, and it’s great that Dr. Kairys and MANNA were there when I needed them.

To read a commentary by Dr. Kairys on how food is medicine and why she connects patients with MANNA, click here.

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