OAKLAND, Calif. -- Most people have heard the old adage, "soup is good food." For Purpose & Hope founder Nancy Chang, she's taking that saying to heart.
Her small business creates nutritious soups designed to comfort and nourish.
"What makes our soups special is that they are all made on the foundation of either a bone broth, or you can make it with the vegan mineral broth," Chang explains. "Broth is an ideal food to have because it is so nutritionally dense."
The idea behind Purpose & Hope originated when Chang's mother was diagnosed with cancer in 2006.
"Her friend actually brought this container of broth for her," Chang recalls, "Witnessing her having so much difficulty with eating before and it being something that felt good to her that was something that really changed my position on how I saw food."
For Chang, food became an instrument to provide a sense of empowerment for people, a way to show someone you cared by providing something that was good for them.
"I met a wonderful oncology dietitian who said that having access to traditional food, such as bone broths and soups, was an ideal way for people to get nutrition into their bodies and offered a diverse panel of flavors and nutrients that would help them whenever they were healing their bodies," Chang reveals.
"I had a shoulder operation, a shoulder replacement, and I looked forward to those soups of Nancy's and they did nourish me," customer Nina Flyer shares.
"I just felt more powerful and healthier eating the soup, in addition to it being incredibly delicious," customer Ellen Hoffman adds.
When Chang learned the statistic that someone overcoming a critical illness was 5 times more likely to experience food insecurity, she started a "soup sponsor" program.
"A soup sponsor program is a group of people who have been donating toward "Purpose & Hope " and what we do is take the money and make soups that are then donated to oncology non-profits in the East Bay: the Woman's Cancer Resource Center and the Charlotte Maxwell Clinic," Chang says.
By the end of 2022, Nancy donated about 600 soups.
"Every single week when we're making soup, I think of my mom and then also all of the people who that have naturally gone through this experience in life," Chang explains. "It is an homage to honor them and their path and to be able to expand on that and find new opportunities would just be a dream come true."
For more information or to learn about the "soup sponsor" program, visit here.