Project Angel Food announced today the launch of a statewide pilot program that will benefit Medi-Cal patients with a diagnosis of congestive heart failure (CHF). The Medi-Cal Medically Tailored Meal (MTM) Pilot Program is funded in part by L.A. Care Health Plan, the largest publicly-operated plan in the country, and it will benefit low-income residents of Los Angeles County.
State Assembly Member Blanca E. Rubio (District 48, Baldwin Park), State Senator Ben Allen (District 26, Redondo Beach), State Assembly Member Richard Bloom (District 50, Santa Monica) and Hannah Cho, District Director for State Senator Holly Mitchell (District 30, Los Angeles) attended a press conference today at Project Angel Food in Hollywood. They stand as key elected officials and deputies, who were instrumental in the passing of this legislation.
This entire process took only 13 months from the start of advocacy to implementation of California Senate Bill (SB) 97 signed by Governor Jerry Brown. Project Angel Food partnered with Project Open Hand, Ceres, Food for Thought, and Health Trust, all in Northern California, and Mama’s Kitchen in San Diego County, to harness their collective clout to secure the funding in record time. State funding will be provided and administered by the California Department of Health Care Services. Project Open Hand CEO Mark Ryle and Mama’s Kitchen Executive Director Alberto Cortes will also attend the event.
As part of the state directive, Project Angel Food and its five sister agencies will collectively serve 1,000 Medi-Cal patients with CHF for the three years of the pilot, with each agency serving 60 participants per year. To measure effectiveness clients must receive their first meal within seven days of being discharged from a hospital. During the first year, Project Angel Food will target people living in San Fernando Valley, Metro L.A. and South L.A.
The press conference was also part of a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the dedication of Project Angel Food’s first refrigerated van that is funded by L.A. Care. Guests also toured the facility and there was a food-tasting of the healthy, low sodium food that Project Angel Food will be delivering to its clients.
Since 1989, Project Angel Food has prepared and delivered more than 11 million meals — currently 11,000 per week — free of charge to men and women living with critical illnesses. Project Angel Food expanded its initial mission from serving people living with HIV/AIDS to include medically tailored meals, prepared by the staff and volunteers, for those combatting cancer, kidney failure, diabetes, congestive heart disease and other illnesses. The mission has always remained intact, to feed and nourish the sick, by delivering healthy, nutritious meals throughout 4,400 square miles of LA County. More than 97% of Project Angel Food clients are living below the poverty level, and Project Angel Food is their lifeline, filling a vital need in all communities. The client demographics are testimony to this: 37% Latino, 29% African-American, 22% Caucasian, 6% Asian/Pacific Islander, 1% Native American and 5% Multicultural.
To learn more, or to volunteer, visit: angelfood.org