Phoenix resident and valley chef Jennifer Caraway scored what most chefs can only dream of, winning $10,000 and the title of Champion on the Food Network show “Chopped.” That was 2018 and the world has been through a whirlwind of unprecedented challenges.
As the founder and creator of the nonprofit organization The Joy Bus, Jennifer never lost sight of her goal using her talents as a chef to help those affected by cancer. The Joy Bus is named in honor of her dear friend Joy, who struggled with the debilitating side effects of ovarian cancer.
Since 2011 Jennifer’s sole purpose has been to relieve the daily struggles of homebound cancer patients by providing them with a fresh and healthy meal delivered by a friendly face. The Joy Bus diner has become a landmark location for locals and visitors known for their scrumptious pancakes and fresh squeezed orange juice. The diner is a joy for all who experience it.
Since Covid the JoyBus diner has been closed. The closure has not stopped the need to provide healthy meals to homebound cancer patients. Operations continue but the demand has doubled from 50 meals a week to nearly 100 meals a week. Adding an additional delivery day to their meal service has helped so none of their patients will be on a waiting list.
Jennifer and her staff are working around the clock hoping to open the diner and be fully operational by early August. Jennifer collaborated with some of the valley’s most prestigious chefs and wrote a cookbook titled “More Than a Meal”. Purchase of the cookbook is one form of donating. 100% of the proceeds go back into the patient meal delivery service. On average it takes $40,000 a month to run the diner. Jennifer is looking for sponsors, and donations to help them open the JoyBus diner. They need help from the community to make this a reality so they can continue to provide meals to homebound cancer patients in the community.