Back in 2012, led by Dr. Rumalie Corvera, the Ruth Foundation for Palliative Care was formed with the primary purpose of providing community-based opportunities for service in the care of the homebound elderly, and those with life-limiting illnesses. Quite often, these are the marginalized who are sent back home from the hospital with no regard for continued care. This is complemented by the pushing for the training and education in palliative and hospice care for nurses, volunteers, and other health professionals. Along with the control of pain, and distressful physical symptoms, psycho-social care is also a key component of palliative care. The need for this became more than evident when back in 2015, a survey called the Philippines, “one of the worse places to die.”
The onset in 2020 of the COVID pandemic saw food access choked, job availability strangled, and the Ruth Foundation had nurses giving instructions on palliative care to the family members over the phone, as these nurses were subject to mobility restrictions. In order to help alleviate the situation, and inspired by the Dignity Kitchen in Singapore—where local food meets societal good, the Ruth Foundation started their own Compassionate Community Kitchen (CCK).
What the CCK does is distribute weekly, free meals to the palliative patients who are part of the regular beneficiaries of the CCK/Ruth Foundation. This include the Ruth Foundation Palliative and Hospice Care patients, the Barangay Munting Ilog residents who are 80 years old and above, the cancer-afflicted children at the Shelter of Hope and at CHILD Haus, and abandoned and homeless elders at House of Somang.
These meals, inspired by Singapore’s Dignity Kitchen, are primarily dishes from Singapore and Southeast Asia, in order to give these underprivileged patients something different. From sandwiches to noodles, to rice meals and pastries, plus sauces and spreads, there’s so much the CCK can offer as food choices. The meals come in Solo, Family (four to six pax), and Party (eight to 10 pax) packs. They’re reasonably priced, and I can vouch for how good they taste. To order, Viber or Call +63 945 594 9465, or connect to @cocokitchen.ph on FB or IG.
I especially liked their seafood laksa, mee goreng, the Singaporean chicken rice, and the beef satay skewers with sambal Rice. There are kaya muffins and pandan chiffon cupcakes, and their beverages include a tamarind tanglad that’s really refreshing—that would be sampaloc with lemongrass.
When you order from CCK for your own home or consumption, 100 percent of the proceeds go back to supporting and funding these free meals for the underprivileged patients and their families. One can also outright sponsor meals that will be distributed to the CCK beneficiaries. And if donors want to recommend new palliative beneficiaries, as long as they’re within the optimum geographical reach of CCK, something can be arranged.
For Dra. Corvera, it’s alway been about improving the quality of life of the underprivileged who are facing a life-limiting illness, and to restore the dignity of their family members by providing psycho-social care services, and by providing specialty and nutritious food. If that’s not a cause worth supporting while enjoying great-tasting food, I don’t know what is. It’s reaching for the heart through the stomach with a new meaning.