stack of gift cards

Cancer center gives grocery gift cards to patients coping with financial hardship

Employee-inspired special event makes holidays easier for needy families facing cancer


UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center is giving 100 needy families coping with cancer $100 grocery gift cards. The goal is to raise awareness about holiday food insecurity and reduce its impact on cancer patients and their families. 

woman receiving gift card
Patient Chloe Franks gets gift card from Veronica Neri and Sylvia Molina with the cancer center’s Supportive Oncology Services.

Over 80 of the Safeway gift cards were distributed yesterday during a special event at the cancer center for families facing financial challenges. Other gift cards are being handed out during individual treatment visits. Funding came from employee giving programs as well as individual donors. 

“People with cancer often experience significant financial hardship — both in terms of direct and indirect medical costs, as well as reduced income due to disability. This can mean less food on the table for families,” said Angela Usher, manager of the cancer center’s Supportive Oncology Services. “An important first step in addressing food insecurity facing cancer patients is to detect it early in the treatment process and to continue to screen for it into survivorship.” 

UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Supportive Oncology Services has embarked on a multi-staged approach to detecting and addressing food insecurity by: 

  • Screening at initial oncology consult for supportive care needs
  • Social risk assessment by licensed clinical social workers
  • Patient assistance to help reduce barriers to care
  • Information and referrals for community services in the area

The $10,000 in funding for the grocery gift cards came from the Raymond Kwan Patient Assistance Memorial Fund and the UC Davis Employee Giving Program via the Cancer Center Patient Assistance Fund

“If you are fortunate enough to help, please consider donating to these worthy organizations that collected more than $80,000 total in 2021,” Usher said. 

Usher said those interested can also help cancer patients and their families during the holidays by donating food and resources to organizations such as the Kiwanis Family House, Ronald McDonald House Charities Northern California and the Sacramento Food Bank.

UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center

UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute-designated center serving the Central Valley and inland Northern California, a region of more than 6 million people. Its specialists provide compassionate, comprehensive care for more than 100,000 adults and children every year and access to more than 200 active clinical trials at any given time. Its innovative research program engages more than 240 scientists at UC Davis who work collaboratively to advance discovery of new tools to diagnose and treat cancer. Patients have access to leading-edge care, including immunotherapy and other targeted treatments. Its Office of Community Outreach and Engagement addresses disparities in cancer outcomes across diverse populations, and the cancer center provides comprehensive education and workforce development programs for the next generation of clinicians and scientists. For more information, visit