Comfort Food for Families

Parents of hospitalized children get help

Comfort Food for Families

Comfort Food for Families

Parents dealing with a sick child have one thing on their minds: their child's well-being.

Amy Geiser, mom to twin girls, knows this firsthand. Six years ago, her then 2-year-old daughter, Rebecca, had heart surgery at Akron Children's Hospital in Akron, Ohio. Rebecca made a full recovery and is now a healthy 8-year-old.

Shortly after Rebecca's surgery, Amy heard that the local Ronald McDonald House needed food donations to feed the parents of sick children.

Amy remembered, when her twins were born, receiving homemade casseroles, biscuits, pies and other treats each week from a church friend.

Grateful for the help, Amy told herself that someday she'd pay that kindness forward. Hearing about the need at the Ronald McDonald House, she knew that's how she'd do it.

"I was talking to my mom about the amount of food I'd have to prepare…not to mention having two small children at home," Amy says. "I said to her, ‘How can I do this?' At that moment, Rebecca walked by and kissed me on the cheek, and I said, ‘How can I not do this?' "

For almost 5 years, Amy has prepared meals for 40 people every other month. She buys the ingredients, cooks the dishes in her kitchen and packages them in disposable pans. Volunteers heat and serve her contributions to the families of hospitalized children.

Some of Amy's favorite things to make are beef stew, meat loaf and Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle.

"At first, I didn't know if I could do this financially," she says. "But I figured it costs less than $1 per person."

"I love knowing that I'm helping out a parent during a bad time," says Amy, a stay-at-home mom. "When I see parents, they're so thankful. They shouldn't have to worry about where they can get something to eat; they're just thinking of getting back to their child."

Amy's Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle is a fall favorite.