Project Angel Food has received an additional funding of $630,216 from the Ryan White Care Act, increasing the amount to $899,360, thereby raising the contractual maximum obligation. The Ryan White Program is federally funded but administered by the Board of Supervisors of the County of Los Angeles, chaired by Sheila Kuehl, Supervisor, 3rd District.
Although Project Angel Food has received funds from this source since 1994, the sum of $2.50 only paid for 275 clients living with HIV/AIDS. The increase raises that sum to $6.16 per meal, and will cover all 400 clients living with HIV/AIDS. This increase was a direct result of a visit to Project Angel Food’s 8,000 square foot kitchen at 922 Vine Street in Hollywood by Mario J. Perez, Director, Division HIV and STD programs. He immediately realized that more funding was needed and recommended authorization by the Director of Public Health to amend the contract with Project Angel Food.
Richard Ayoub, Executive Director at Project Angel Food, addressed the Supervisors, County Staff and community members at the meeting to decide the increase, thanking the County, the Ryan White Care Act and the many donors and volunteers. He said, “Today we are at a period in our agency’s history where we are facing a greater demand for our services throughout Los Angeles County. About one third of our clients are living with HIV and 73% of our HIV clients are people of color and about two thirds live alone, so our delivery drivers could be the only visitors they have every week.”
Since 1989 Project Angel Food has prepared and delivered over 11 million meals – currently 11,000 per week – free of charge to men, women and children living with critical illnesses. Project Angel Food expanded its initial mission from serving people living with HIV/AIDS to include medically tailored meals, prepared by the staff and volunteers, for those combatting cancer, kidney failure, diabetes, congestive heart disease and other illnesses. The mission has always remained intact, to feed and nourish the sick, by delivering healthy, nutritious meals throughout 4,400 square miles of LA County. More than 97% of Project Angel Food clients are living below the poverty level, and Project Angel Food is their lifeline, filling a vital need in all communities. The client demographics are testimony to this, 37% Latino, 29% African-American, 22% Caucasian, 6% Asian/Pacific Islander, 1% Native American and 5% Multicultural.