Project Angel Food was honored for World AIDS Day by The Wall Las Memorias at their Honoring Caregivers Event on Sunday, November 28, at Hollywood United Methodist Church in Hollywood. The organization recognized individuals and organizations for, “their selfless commitment to the cause of AIDS.”
The solemn and celebratory event was hosted by Richard L. Zaldivar, the founder and Executive Director of The Wall Las Memorias Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting wellness and preventing illness among Latino populations affected by HIV/AIDS by using the inspiration of The AIDS Monument as a catalyst for social change.
Zaldivar remembered those we’ve lost in the 40 years since HIV/AIDS was first discovered, and overwhelmed with gratitude for people and organizations, like Project Angel Food, which for 32 years has been committed to caring for people living with HIV/AIDS as well as other critical illnesses. Richard Ayoub, CEO of Project Angel Food, recalled the early day of Project Angel Food. Now, Project Angel Food serves 2,400 critically ill people a day, in 1989 when we were founded it was dozens. Richard told how Marianne Williamson gathered volunteers to prepare and deliver meals to give care, comfort, and nourishment to people were sick, and at the time, dying of AIDS.
“She made sure that people with AIDS always had food, and always felt love,” Richard said. Adding, “I will tell you that 32 years later we have done that 14 million times. We have provided 14 million meals to our community.”
In addition to Project Angel Food, honorees included Dr. Michael S. Gottlieb, MD, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Dignity Health, Los Angeles County Commission on HIV, LA County Office of HIV & STD, LA County-USC Medical Center, UCLA Medical, The California Nurses Association, and Archbishop Carl Bean, of the Minority AIDS Project, posthumously.
Rev, Kathy Cooper Ledesma, pastor of The Hollywood United Methodist Church, remarked, “It was especially meaningful that the ceremony was in the Hollywood United Methodist Church, which has had an AIDS ribbon on its bell tower since 1993 welcoming anyone including people with AIDS.”
The Wall Las Memorias is a community health and wellness organization dedicated to serving Latino, LGBTQ and other under-served populations through advocacy, education and building the next generation of leadership. For more than 28 years, the organization has helped eradicate stigma and bigotry, and created a safer place in our communities for dialogue, community building, education and prevention services for this devastating epidemic using its AIDS Monument as a catalyst for social change.