Our clients come from all walks of life. They are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, daughters, and sons. They have their own unique stories. But the one thing they have in common is that they are living with a serious illness and need the nutritional assistance provided by Project Angel Food.
Here are a few of their stories:
Michelle, a breast cancer client was referred to Project Angel Food from The USC Norris Cancer Hospital in February 2008. In July 2007, she was diagnosed with breast cancer that has since spread to her liver; she is undergoing chemotherapy and is in and out of the hospital frequently. “I was absolutely shocked that there was a group of caring people who provided meals, especially free meals. I really appreciate the variety of food and desserts and breakfast cereal…I feel a lot happier having regular nutritious meals even though I don’t feel well a lot of the times. I’m really amazed that you’re able to provide such tasty meals to so many people in need”.
Sharon, Janayn, and Muneer
Sharon has been receiving meals and nutritional assistance from Project Angel Food for over two years. Her chronic illness was beginning to interfere with her ability to care for her children, Janayn, 15 and Muneer, 11. "I didn't want to burden my children and make them grow up too quickly by giving them the responsibility of cooking because I was too sick to cook," Sharon says. She asserts that the nutritional components of Project Angel Food meals, specifically designed for each client, make all the difference. Big fans of our frozen meals, Sharon and her family enjoy the flexibility of once-a-week delivery and the security of knowing that if she is sick, there are nutritional meals ready to be cooked in the freezer. "These people didn't know me and they reached out to me and didn't expect anything in return. It's a pure expression of love."
Ricardo is a new client of Project Angel Food who heard of the agency through Bienestar. "I was receiving food from Bienestar's food bank, but I wasn't feeling well enough to cook. That's why Project Angel Food's meal deliveries have been such a godsend. I feel so much better knowing that I'll be receiving a hot, healthy meal every day." Ricardo has diabetes and must maintain a very strict diet. When he came to Project Angel Food, he was underweight due to wasting, which often affects people with HIV. Project Angel Food's dietitian was able to develop a diet that not only helped Ricardo with his medical problems but also provided him with food he enjoys eating. "Thanks to the dietitians, I have gained back a lot of the weight I've lost as well as my strength. I would never have been able to do this on my own."
Jerry and Felix
Jerry and Felix met five years ago while looking after a mutual friend dying of AIDS. Afraid of rejection, Jerry and Felix hid their HIV-positive status from each other. Once they shared that information, they became "soulmates." When both grew ill, they tried their best to take care of one another. Jerry, who had spent his life working as an activist for the homeless, and Felix, a former Marine, were not used to asking for help. But they didn't feel well enough to shop and cook for themselves, so they turned to Project Angel Food. "Our health goes up and down," said Jerry. "But the one consistently good thing in our life is Project Angel Food."
When Alicia first heard of Project Angel Food, she was feeling so sick that even her fingernails hurt. It was hard for her to get out of bed and practically impossible for her to cook for her family. She also was becoming increasingly frustrated as she spent numerous hours on the phone dealing with the insurance company. "My friend told me there was an organization that provided meals to people who were sick with HIV," said Alicia. "When I called Project Angel Food, I couldn't believe how smoothly it all went. I talked with someone who spoke Spanish and the next day food was delivered to my daughter and I."