MANSFIELD, MASS. (WHDH) - As a Taunton father battles cancer, his family won’t have to worry about putting food on the table thanks to the Joe Andruzzi Foundation and its partners. 

The family was surprised on Tuesday in Mansfield with a year’s worth of free groceries from Stop & Shop and a year’s supply of bottled water from Poland Spring. 

“We don’t want a cancer patient to have to choose between putting food on their table or paying an electric bill,” Andruzzi Foundation CEO Jen Andruzzi told 7NEWS.

Mark, 38, has been unable to work as he fights cancer for the second time. 

His wife, Jessica, also needs to stay at home full time to care for their children, who live with special needs. 

After Tuesday’s generous gesture, the family was overwhelmed with gratitude. 

“It was a huge surprise and it was an amazing thing to be chosen for,” Jessica Rivers said. “It really was.”

“It makes me feel great,” Jessica continued. “It just fills my heart to be able to see this happening and knowing how many families it’s going to help just like ours.”

The Joe Andruzzi Foundation was founded by former New England Patriots player Joe Andruzzi. The foundation has been helping cancer patients since 2008 following Andruzzi’s own battle with cancer.

Stop & Shop and Poland Spring are offering support in a big way this year, each donating $25,000 to the foundation in addition to helping Mark, Jessica and their family. 

“You really helped give us the space we needed to come to terms with the news and not have to worry about bills,” Jessica said during the presentation on Tuesday. “…Thank you so much for letting us be a part of this.”

Andruzzi said he was lucky enough to have the resources of an NFL player when he was fighting cancer. 

Help from the community, he said, can truly change people’s lives when they most need it. 

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