Project Angel Food announced on Aug. 3, 2023, the launch of Rise to the Challenge: The Campaign to Expand Project Angel Food, a multi-year campaign including a $51,000,000 expansion and renovation of Project Angel Food’s current building at 922 Vine Street and construction of brand-new facility next door at 960 Vine Street. In honor of their lead gift, the two buildings will be named The Chuck Lorre Family Foundation Campus and construction is projected to be completed by 2027. To celebrate the momentous occasion and unveil the new location, which will enable the organization to triple its meal production capacity, a ground breaking ceremony will take place on site today with Honorary Chair Jamie Lee Curtis, Honorary Founding Chair Marianne Williamson, Trustee Sheryl Lee Ralph, Project Angel Food CEO Richard Ayoub, Chuck Lorre and Trisha Cardoso of The Chuck Lorre Family Foundation, L.A. County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath, CA State Assemblymember Rick Chavez Zbur, among others.
Founded in 1989, Project Angel Food has served almost 17 million meals, as the organization strives to end food insecurity and improve the health outcomes of critically ill men, women and children in Los Angeles County. Project Angel Food has been declared an essential service by the City of Los Angeles and prepares and delivers Medically Tailored Meals to 2,500 critically ill Angelenos every day. The facility’s present kitchen is already producing twice the number of meals it was designed to deliver. It is at capacity and needs to expand now. Rise to the Challenge confronts that need head on. With the expansion, Project Angel Food will be capable of producing and delivering three times the number of meals the organization delivers today. In addition, expansion enables Project Angel Food to enhance client and nutrition services, establish a research and policy institute, and broaden its community of volunteers.
“The Rise to the Challenge campaign is a bold effort that will allow us to serve thousands more people in need and prepare for future growth,” said Richard Ayoub, CEO Project Angel Food. “When we moved into our current kitchen – we were told our capacity would be 800,000 meals per year, but we are bursting at the seams preparing 1.5 million a year. That’s why it’s urgent we expand now. Thanks to the incredible support of the community, Project Angel Food’s new campus will be a beacon of hope, healing and humanity for the community for as long as it takes.”
According to new research from the University of Southern California, food insecurity is on the rise with two out of five low-income people in Los Angeles struggling with not knowing where their next meal will come from. Project Angel Food has grown exponentially to meet that need, growing its services by 40% to respond to the COVID pandemic, and is projected to serve more than two million meals annually by 2027.
“I was born and raised in this city of angels, and it’s been my privilege to connect the dots of need and advocacy between human beings and the institutions who support them,” said Jamie Lee Curtis, Honorary Chair, Project Angel Food’s Rise to the Challenge Campaign. “I have been moved by the loving, transformational start Marianne Williamson gave Project Angel Food in the early days of the AIDS crisis, when the world looked so bleak and hopeless. Since then, the work of Project Angel Food has only increased, expanded, shape-shifted and changed with the times – today marks a community coming together to weave the roots of the last 34 years with the needs of the future.”
Marianne Williamson, Founding Chair, added, "When Project Angel Food began, I hoped the day would come when its services would no longer be needed. The fact that 34 years later the work is still needed — that, in fact, expansion on a major level is required to meet the demand for services — is sobering and sad. But our task is not to analyze the problem, our task is to respond to the human suffering that is in front of us. For years, the organization has been such a light in the city of Los Angeles, and with this powerful next step, its light will grow even brighter.”
The transformational lead gift from The Chuck Lorre Family Foundation, and additional lead gifts from: Bob Cohen, Tim Robinson, Takashi Cheng and Dorenda Wong, Jamie Lee Curtis and Christopher Guest, Mary D. Fisher, The Don and Lorraine Freeberg Foundation, the Estate of Thomas G. Rogillio II, The Murray/Reese Foundation, National Rongxiang Xu Foundation, Darren Star. Generous support also has been provided by Carol and Jerry Coben, Bill Frew, David and Ashley Kramer, The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, Tom Safran, Steve Tisch, The Annenberg Foundation, Jason Ball and Troy Jones, and Eugene Kapaloski, which has accelerated Project Angel Food’s Rise to the Challenge campaign. Significant government and elected official support have also been received by Representative Adam Schiff, State Senator Ben Allen, State Assemblymember Rick Chavez Zbur, Former State Assemblymember Richard Bloom, LA County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath and Former LA City Council Member Mitch O’Farrell. More than $41.3 million of the total $51 million goal has been raised to date allowing today’s monumental ground breaking to take place.
“During the pandemic, we began supporting Project Angel Food and their food insecurity program serving many vulnerable Angelenos,” said Chuck Lorre, founder of The Chuck Lorre Family Foundation. “At that time, we learned that Project Angel Food was not only providing meals, but they were at the forefront of providing Medically Tailored Meals, which ultimately improves health outcomes for those living with critical illness. Our foundation is committed to ensuring equitable access to healthcare, and it was no surprise that many of our health clinic and hospital partners had already been referring patients to Project Angel Food, to assist them with individualized nutritional meals in support of a holistic approach to healing. We believe that the urgency of this moment requires clear and transformative action from us all to create a lasting impact in our community.”
Goals aligned with Rise to the Challenge: The Campaign to Expand Project Angel Food include:
“Rise to the Challenge is a testament to the impact Project Angel Food has on our community,” concludes Bill McDermott, Campaign Director. “Everyone we approach can immediately relate to our clients. We’ve all been sick, we’ve all experienced hunger, and we’ve all felt lonely and isolated. It’s been humbling to see the generous response as people reflect on their own experiences and empathize with what our clients battle every day.”
To view highlights from the ground breaking, click here.
About Project Angel Food
Founded in 1989 by Marianne Williamson along with David Kessler, Ed Rada, Howard Rosenman and Freddie Weber to provide meals to people living with HIV/AIDS. Project Angel Food has expanded its mission to serve all people diagnosed with any critical, life-threatening illness, and strives to end food insecurity and improve health outcomes of chronically ill men, women and children in Los Angeles County through Medically Tailored Meals at no cost, directly to their doors, with care and compassion as well as nutritional counseling and support. More than 2,500 clients are fed daily. Project Angel Food delivers more than 1.5 million meals each year.