Monday, July 16 , 2018, 9:26 pm | Fair 66º

 
 
 
 

Organic Soup Kitchen Serves Up Healthy Soups — And More — to Cancer Patients

Nonprofit organization puts nutritious ingredients to use in battle against disease, and delivers for free as well

Organic Soup Kitchen chief operating officer Andrea Slaby-Carroccio helps run the Santa Barbara-based nonprofit organization, which provides cancer patients with soups loaded wih cancer-fighting ingredients. Click to view larger
Organic Soup Kitchen chief operating officer Andrea Slaby-Carroccio helps run the Santa Barbara-based nonprofit organization, which provides cancer patients with soups loaded wih cancer-fighting ingredients. (Organic Soup Kitchen photo)

What started out as serving a healthy meal to one cancer outpatient has grown to more than 100 clients a week.

Organic Soup Kitchen provides organic, vegan, gluten-free, GMO-free, low sodium and low glycemic soups to cancer patients in the Santa Barbara community.

When executive director Anthony Carroccio selects the food, he keeps healthy ingredients and good nutrients on the top of the priority list.

“We are not claiming to cure cancer or make it go away,” he told Noozhawk. “We want to help people get strong.”

Once a week, volunteers cook the free meals in the kitchen of the Santa Barbara Veterans Memorial Building across from West Beach.

But the outreach doesn’t stop once the cooking timer goes off. Volunteers also provide a free delivery service to the client’s home.

Chia seeds, organic coconut milk and apple juice are a few of the ingredients in Carroccio’s cookbook.

A quinoa salad is a new addition to the lineup, which features an array of side dishes.

The menu selection is filled with cancer-fighting ingredients to improve health while battling cancer, Carroccio explained.

“We are providing the proper fuel to feed the immune system,” he said. “When you have a strong immune system, the body can do anything — better.”

Carroccio noted that cancer treatment can affect the appetite, and good nutrition is important to help patients maintain strength during their medical care.

Organic Soup Kitchen’s soups are organic, vegan, gluten- and GMO-free, and low in sodium. Click to view larger
Organic Soup Kitchen’s soups are organic, vegan, gluten- and GMO-free, and low in sodium. (Organic Soup Kitchen photo)

According to the American Cancer Society, changes in appetite or no appetite are cancer-related side effects.

Organic Soup Kitchen has partnered with the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation, Cottage Hospital, Sansun Clinic, the Pacific Pride Foundation, Cancer Center of Santa Barbara and Hospice of Santa Barbara.

Before starting the nonprofit organization in 2009, Carroccio was a businessman whose career spans more than 40 years. He spent time as a publisher working in the beauty and health industries.

“It was time to give back,” he said.

Organic Soup Kitchen has provided free holiday meals for the community, but Carroccio said the primary focus is growing the cancer patient service.

He said he wants to expand the outreach to more communities.

“We are trying to grow,” Carroccio said. “Our goal is to fine-tune our operation and share it free of charge with other interested cities and counties.”

Organic Soup Kitchen members are hosting a walk-a-thon fundraiser this spring to support the cancer outreach program, with details to be announced this week.

Click here for more information, or to donate or volunteer, or email [email protected].

“We like taking things a step further,” Carroccio said.

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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