As we begin the New Year, we want to share with you a few highlights from 2021 – a year in which we served more critically ill men, women, and children than ever before in our 32-yearhistory. Project Angel Food looks back on 2021 as a Year of Miracles big and small, caring for LA’s critically ill men, women, and children one Medically Tailored Meal at a time.
In 2021, Project Angel Food prepared and delivered 1,070,000Medically Tailored Meals to 3,500 unique clients served (2,400 at any given time), in addition, our 11 vans have covered 53 delivery routes spanning the entire 4,700 square miles of Los Angeles County.
Our clients are so much more than numbers, they are people with lives which are often shattered by illness. They need our help to survive and, here’s the good news, in many cases experience improved health through our Medically Tailored Meals interventions.
What is a Medically Tailored Meal? “Food is Medicine” isn’t just a motto, it is the foundation to our Medically Tailored Meals program. The medical lives of Project Angel Food clients are complex, and they require an equally complex nutrition intervention. Our meal plans are designed to fit the unique needs of the individual. We have developed a sophisticated set of food and nutrition standards founded in research, that have been shown to result in better health outcomes, lower healthcare costs, and improved patient satisfaction.
May 3, 2021
Project Angel Food Volunteers returned to the kitchen after our kitchen volunteer program, the heart of our organization since our founding in 1989 was suspended as we implemented strict COVID protocols for the safety of our volunteers, staff, and most of all our clients. In 2021, volunteers contributed over 14,000 hours of labor to help deliver meals, pack meals, and, starting in late spring, prepare meals alongside our professional chefs.
June 3, 2021
On June 3, Project Angel Food presented its 14 millionth meal in our agency’s history. Founder Marianne Williamson, Pauley Perrette, Sandra Lee, and Rufus Wainwright joined Project Angel Food CEO Richard Ayoub for the honors as we presented the meal to longtime client and AIDS activist Richard E.
July 17, 2021
Project Angel Food’s two-hour live telethon Lead with Love 2021 aired live on KTLA. The telethon was hosted by Eric McCormack, Jessica Holmes with co-hosts Loni Love and Alec Mapa. Jamie Lee Curtis, Ringo Starr, Marianne Williamson, Matt Bomer, Yvette Nicole Brown, Cat Cora, Brad Garrett all made appearances with LeAnn Rimes, Gloria Estefan, Andy Grammer, Vanessa Williams, Jewel, and Phillip Phillips performing. The live television event raised more than $1.2 Million to support Project Angel Food’s vital work.
October 14, 2021
The Native American Diabetes Project began trials for a groundbreaking, two-year study being conducted with the USC Keck School of Medicine to measure how physical and mental health outcomes improve in Native Americans with diabetes with an intervention of Project Angel Food’s Medically Tailored Meals, culturally competent nutrition education and peer support. For 12 weeks, participants receive two daily diabetic friendly Medically Tailored Meals and are paired with a buddy also in the program. Over the next two years, 312 Indigenous people will participate in this study which is funded by Project Angel Food board member Runningbear Ramirez.
November 25, 2021
Thanksgiving Day. Project Angel Food delivered over 2,000 traditional turkey dinners to our clients and their caregivers on Thanksgiving Day with the support of hundreds of volunteers. Loni Love, Jesse-Tyler Ferguson and Justin Mikita, Eileen Davison joined in as these meals were delivered along with the regularly scheduled deliveries of the day. Since 77% of all clients rely on Project Angel Food as their main source of food, we worked around the clock to make certain no one missed a meal.
Project Angel Food’s Toy Drive was a success with thousands of toys, gift cards, books, and clothes being collected from our compassionate community of donors to be delivered to 273 children of our clients, many of whom would not have had any gifts at all under the tree if it had not been for the generosity of our amazing Project Angel Food friends.
We have overcome incredible obstacles this year: supply chain issues, employee and volunteer shortages, increased food and fuel prices, and emergent strains of the COVID. But with your support and a commitment to the 2,400 critically ill clients we nourish each day, we made it through. However, with Omicron raging, the vulnerable, immune-compromised neighbors are more vulnerable than ever. Thank you for your generosity past, present and future. Wishing you a Happy New Year as we celebrate the hope that Project Angel Food brings to so many during this tenuous time.