BURRILLVILLE – The Joe Andruzzi Foundation hosted a press conference on the importance of food security programs on Thursday, March 30 at Wright’s Farm Restaurant. The organization aims to provide help, hope, and a reason to smile for New England cancer patients and their families through financial support when it is needed most.
The event was part of the Foundation’s 15th year anniversary “Road Trip,” to build awareness about its mission to support cancer patients and their families during treatment.
The Foundation was created by former New England Patriots three-time Super Bowl Champion offensive guard Joe Andruzzi and his wife Jen Andruzzi after Joe’s personal battle with cancer in 2007. That year, Joe’s football career abruptly ended when he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Burkitt’s lymphoma. Disease-free less than a year later, Joe and Jen chose to dedicate their lives towards solving the financial distress a cancer diagnosis can cause in the lives of patients and families.
Now, the Andruzzis wanted to help patients who were facing financial barriers that could prevent them from completing and sometimes starting life-saving treatment due to high costs.
JAF’s Food Security Program, presented by Amplix, was launched in 2021 and provides New England cancer patients and their families with gift cards to various grocery stores throughout the region, giving them access to quality nutrition during treatment. JAF has helped more than 2,500 patients and their families through the Food Security Program. For more information on the Food Security program, visit here.
“During Joe’s cancer treatment, we were so fortunate to have the means to pay for our mortgage and other bills, in addition to the medical costs, but so many do not have that ability,” said Jen Andruzzi, president and CEO of the foundation. “Families are forced to make incredibly difficult choices during what is already one of the most challenging times in life, and we wanted to help, so we launched our Food Security Program.”
“People having to choose between food or medicine for their families – it is a tough choice to make while battling cancer, and you don’t want to make those choices, and that’s where we step in to try and help,” said Joe Andruzzi, co-founder and chief engagement officer. “With the support of our sponsor, Amplix, we try to support as many families as we can so they can go home and feed their families.”
In 2022 alone, more than $1 million was distributed in direct assistance to help 3,762 individuals with financial assistance to pay for housing, transportation, utilities, food, insurance, and other household expenses. Since 2008, the Joe Andruzzi Foundation has been able to grant over $9 million in support to thousands of cancer patients and their families across New England. Since the foundation’s inception, it has provided more than $750,000 to Rhode Island cancer patients and their family members.
The Road Trip will continue in Massachusetts from May 22 through May 26; Vermont from June 21 through June 22; Maine from August 14 through August 18; New Hampshire from Sept. 11 through Sept. 15; and Connecticut from Nov. 13 through Nov. 17.
For more information, or to make a donation, visit: joeandruzzifoundation.org.