HOLLYWOOD, CA — On Oct. 10, 2022, Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Project Angel Food held a press conference on the Native American Diabetes Project. This groundbreaking, two-year study integrates nutrition, social needs and tradition, and measures how Project Angel Food’s Medically Tailored Meals — combined with social support and community — can improve health outcomes and mental wellbeing of Indigenous People with diabetes.
Held at Project Angel Food’s Hollywood kitchen, Mitch O’Farrell (Wyandotte Nation), Los Angeles City Councilmember for L.A.’s 13th District, Richard Ayoub, Project Angel Food CEO, Dr. Claradina Soto (Navajo/Jemez Pueblo), Head Researcher, Associate Professor at USC Keck School of Medicine; and NADP community advisor Jasmine Gutierrez (Odawa Chippewa, Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians) were in attendance.
Councilmember O’Farrell said, “It is important on Indigenous Peoples’ Day, as we reconcile atrocities of our Nation’s past, that we honor the work of Project Angel Food, Dr. Soto with the Keck School of Medicine with the Native American Diabetes Project because it moves us forward in helping reclaim the health of Native Americans which was stolen what could only be called a genocide lasting hundreds of years.”
Ayoub added, “We announced this program on this day two years ago, and early results are promising. We have an opportunity to improve the health outcomes of Native Americans living with Diabetes with our Medically Tailored Meals. We have always been in service to underserved people and populations and this study is shining example of our mission in action.”
Dr. Soto revealed early findings on how this multi-dimensional intervention is reducing A1C levels and feelings of social isolation.
Dr. Soto also explained recruitment remains a challenge as Indigenous people are scattered throughout Los Angeles County, making it difficult for them to learn of the project if not connected to urban Indian organizations. Native Americans with diabetes in Los Angeles County wishing to participate should email email@example.com or call (213) 764-4550.
Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell is the first Native American to serve on the Los Angeles City Council. A member of the Wyandotte Nation, Councilmember O’Farrell spearheaded the movement in Los Angeles to re-designate Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day on the first Monday in October. The City of Los Angeles has celebrated Indigenous Peoples’ Day since 2018.
Project Angel Food’s mission is to improve health outcomes and end food insecurity for critically ill men, women and children is Los Angeles by preparing and delivering Medically Tailored Meals with compassion and hope. Project Angel Food feeds 2,500 seriously ill people each day, preparing and delivering over 1.2 million Medically Tailored Meals each year.