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Our Story

It all started with a personal experience

It was 2017, Ann Jackson was in Chicago’s Cancer Center receiving chemotherapy when she overheard the patient next to her ask her husband how they were going to navigate the cost of care.


It wasn’t until after her appointment that Ann realized they were talking about lunch — the patient and her husband were at the hospital for a daylong infusion and weren’t sure they could afford to feed themselves during the appointment.

Ann quickly realized this story was a common one for the folks receiving treatment. A few months later, she attended a lecture on hospital-based food insecurity given by University of Chicago faculty member, Dr. Stacy Lindau. Ann partnered with Dr. Lindau and the leadership team of the cancer center to open a Feed1st pantry in the Comprehensive Cancer Center in November of 2017. Over the next few years the work would continue at the cancer center expanding out into programs in spaces where those facing a cancer diagnosis live and seek support. 


In 2020, we formally became the Center for Food Equity in Medicine with programs sharing people at their doors, in places where faces facing a cancer diagnosis receive support and treatment. The Center for Food Equity in Medicine is committed to raising awareness and meeting the nutritional needs for people living with chronic health conditions. Interested in learning more? Join us.

Meet the Team

Meet the Team


Ann Jackson

Founder, Executive Director

Dr. Ann W. Jackson, PT, DPT, MPH is a physical therapist, educator, health advocate, citizen scientist, and lifelong learner who has spent her career focusing on the optimization of the functionality of individuals across the lifespan, no matter their circumstances. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Therapy from Georgia State University, a Masters of Public Health from the University of South Carolina, Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Rosalind Franklin University and a certificate in Clinical Medical Ethics from the University of Chicago’s MacLean Center.

In 2015, while undergoing treatment for a cancer diagnosis, she saw firsthand the difficulties people were experiencing while navigating new spaces and experiences associated with receiving a cancer diagnosis. A desire to make their situations better inspired Ann to find some good in her own experience. It was her call to action. In March of 2020 she became the founder of The Center for Food Equity in Medicine, an organization whose mission is to impact food insecurity among those navigating a cancer diagnosis.


Aesha Jackson

Special Project Manager

Aesha Jackson started volunteering with the Center for Food Equity in Medicine when it was just an idea in her Mom’s heart. She is a graduate of Illinois Institute of Technology with a BS in Electrical Engineering. Currently, Aesha works as an Electrical Engineer in the construction of large buildings. Aesha enjoys problem solving at any scale, loves calling Chicago home and is always willing to make new friends over cupcakes.


She has been volunteering with various organizations as long as she can remember, especially those focussing on social justice and equity issues. The mission of Center for Food Equity in Medicine and hearing directly from the “neighbors” who participate has driven her to know that the work matters.

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Jackie Lanier

Creative Director

Jacqueline Lanier is currently an Office Manager for a Clinical Neuropsychologist. She enjoys her job but is looking forward to retirement so she can pursue her passion of event decorating/planning and crafting. She loves to cook, and she recently started container gardening because she wanted to have a healthier choice of vegetables.


She loves having a creative input for the CFFEIM fundraisers, which is a crucial part that allows us to provide food for our families in need. As the Creative Director for CFFEIM she will establish the creative visions for our fundraisers and projects and manifest that vision through design.

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Angela Kelly

Director of Engagement

Angela Kelly is a speech-language pathologist and Dr Jackson's organizational side-kick in all things Center for Food Equity in Medicine. Although she loves the work she does with her students during the school year, Angela also finds joy in an eclectic mix of craft hobbies and gardening. This enjoyment of gardening has developed into a passion of finding ways to provide healthy foods to those the Center for Food Equity in Medicine serves.


Jaelyn White

Community Engagement Coordinator

Jaelyn White started interning with CFFEIM in the Summer of 2023. She is born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. She is currently in school at Ball State University for Video Production and Music Recording, so she handles a lot of things virtually for us.


She started working with this non-profit because she has a desire to help people in need. Her grandma is a cancer survivor, which has given her a strong sense of devotion to this organization. She helps create media, works on projects throughout the non-profit, and is looking forward to growing with this organization.

Board Members

Our Board Members

Our Partners

Our wonderful partners


Jackie Lanier

Christen Oliver Foundation

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Make a Donation

Your gifts go towards providing nutritionally dense foods to some of the most vulnerable neighbors in our communities. Individuals and families navigating food insecurity while facing life changing health conditions will not have to go hungry because of your generosity. 

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