For many Project Angel Food clients, the joy and wonder of the holidays must often take a back seat to the gravity and struggle of living with severe illness.
Shawn P., living with breast cancer, can attest to the value of Project Angel Food’s healthy meals, both from a professional and personal standpoint. “The funny thing is that I am a chef,” she says. “When my case manager encouraged me to apply for Project Angel Food, I was already aware of the great work you were doing.”
Shawn is a 56-year-old female living in Mid-Wilshire. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in the spring of 2017 and subsequently became a Project Angel Food client that May.
While on service with Project Angel Food, Shawn was part of a clinical trial. “The chemo was so draining and debilitating,” she says. “It meant everything in the world to know I had healthy meals in the freezer when I came home after a long, grueling day.”
After one year of receiving meals, Shawn was able to get off chemotherapy. She subsequently felt strong enough to cook for herself again, and so she decided to leave the program to make room for someone else in need.
And now, leading into the holiday season, Shawn has received the ultimate gift: “Just today I had blood work done and the results were all very, very encouraging.”
For Mark L., another person who got healthy again because of our meals, the holiday season is vastly different today than it was just one year ago. Mark is a 55-year-old male diagnosed with HIV and living in Silver Lake. When he came on service in July of 2017, he was experiencing HIV-induced neuropathy. He was losing feeling in his hands and feet, making it difficult to cook for himself. As a result, Mark was losing weight and not eating a well-balanced diet. He was also struggling financially because he wasn’t healthy or strong enough to work. Since 2013, he’s been living on Social Security Disability (SSDI) in order to make ends meet. Previously, Mark was a systems engineer for 25 years.
“Before I started getting weekly meals from Project Angel Food, I had so many co-pays and I couldn’t afford to eat well,” he says. “I had been falling into a pity party because I was so overwhelmed.” Not long after getting on service, Mark started gaining weight back and feeling much stronger. He especially enjoyed the meals that included peas, corn, and tater tots. He says the food helped him regain much of his independence, and the weekly visits from his delivery driver Keith alleviated his depression.
After 14 months of receiving Project Angel Food meals, Mark was able to go off service because he felt well enough, both physically and emotionally. “I wanted to make room for someone else in great need,” he says.
Now that Mark is in better health, he has the energy to do more of what he loves, like riding his bike and working out at the gym. He also plans to go camping with his travel trailer this holiday season—something he couldn’t have imagined a year ago.
For many of our critically ill clients, having healthy meals delivered to their homes means the difference between despair and hope. Holidays are the toughest for them, and our drivers are often the only person they will see.
When a client regains their health, it’s both a testament to our life-changing work as well as an opportunity for us to reach even more people waiting for our services—people like Novessie, an 87-year-old veteran with end-stage renal disease who requires dialysis. Or Loretta, who only has a T-cell count of 30 due to her HIV/AIDS diagnosis. Or Amy, who’s living off of $757 a month while battling stage IV breast cancer. THEY need Project Angel Food and YOU can help!
I humbly ask you to make a year-end donation to Project Angel Food. We want to help even more clients regain their health, but we need your support. When you make a donation, 85 cents of every dollar goes directly toward food and delivery costs.
With your support, we can provide nutrition, hope, and most of all, LOVE, during this heartfelt time of year!
Director of Programs
P.S. To ensure we may continue our mission, please send your holiday gift today—$150, $100, $50, $20, or whatever you can afford. We need your support now, more than ever!