Project Angel Food, the nonprofit agency that cooks and delivers healthy meals to people debilitated by serious illnesses, is issuing an urgent plea for volunteers and donations in response to the spread of COVID-19. Project Angel Food has had 18 volunteer groups cancel, three fundraisers postponed indefinitely, and an increased demand for meals.
Every week Project Angel Food cooks, prepares, and delivers 15,000 meals for 1,600 clients living with critical illnesses. More than 62% of those clients are 60 and older and have compromised immune systems which place them at greater risk. Because of this at-risk client base, the organization has always been hypervigilant but is now ramping up its already stringent food safety measures.
Six days a week, 80% of the Vine Street kitchen workforce is fueled by volunteer power. The recent cancellations represent 200 people and 800 hours of labor lost. As a result, the organization is asking Angelenos who are healthy to step up and help them continue their service uninterrupted. Interested individuals are being asked to email [email protected] or call 323-845-1832.
At a time when volunteerism is down, the charity is also having to look to other sources for the funds that would have been raised through postponed events. The organization is also actively working to raise an additional $150,000 to guarantee all of their clients will receive three weeks of extra meals including medically tailored frozen meals and shelf stable foods such as Ready-To-Eat meals, canned tuna, and chicken noodle soup.
“Project Angel Food’s response to COVID-19 is proactive and focused on ensuring that our clients not only get the meals they need today, but have emergency meals on hand should we not be able to reach them,” says Executive Director Richard Ayoub. “Our organization has been serving the chronically ill for 30 years, since the AIDS Crisis, so we are well equipped to handle today’s healthcare emergency.”
The organization is accepting donations in any amount at www.angelfood.org/covid19.
Since its inception thirty years ago, Project Angel Food has prepared and delivered more than 12 million meals – currently 15,000 per week – free of charge to men, women and children living with critical illnesses. Project Angel Food has expanded its initial mission from serving people living with HIV/AIDS to include medically tailored meals, prepared by staff and volunteers, for those combatting cancer, kidney failure, diabetes, and congestive heart disease. The mission has always remained intact, to feed and nourish the sick, by delivering healthy nutritious meals throughout 4,400 square miles of Los Angeles County. More than 98% of Project Angel Food clients are living at or below the poverty level, and Project Angel Food is their lifeline, filling a vital need in all communities. The client demographics—38% Latino, 27% African-American, 24% Caucasian, 6% Asian/Pacific Islander, 1% Native American, 4% Multicultural—are testimony to this.
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