SMMC Delivers Meals for Project Angel Food

Patricia Duarte (left), and Kit Katz delivering meals to community in need.

Many things have changed amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but one thing that has flourished throughout our community is kindness – people helping other people get through this difficult time together. As soon as the safer-at-home order took effect Project Angel Food (PAF) lost volunteers who were delivering medically-tailored meals to residents throughout Long Beach, that’s when Dignity Health – St. Mary Medical Center (SMMC) volunteered to help.

“Project Angel Food is thrilled we can feed more people in Long Beach thanks to the assistance of St. Mary Medical Center,” states Richard Ayoub, PAF executive director. “When the folks at Dignity Health heard that we had to curtail our volunteer program, because most of our helpers are vulnerable seniors, they immediately jumped into action and offered one of their drivers to pick up the slack. It’s a huge help!”

St. Mary’s Medical Transportation Department, in partnership with PAF and Christian Outreach in Action, is delivering meals to homebound chronically-ill patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. PAF received a grant from St. Mary last year to expand home delivery of medically-tailored meals and nutritional counseling for older persons living in Long Beach with chronic conditions, specifically HIV/AIDS, cancers, congestive heart failure and diabetes.

“The support we have received from the community during this pandemic has been heartwarming, so it is wonderful that we are able to give back and help PAF during this difficult time,” states Carolyn Caldwell, SMMC hospital president. “Being able to deliver these nutrient-rich meals for our most vulnerable population is critical to their health and well-being, and we are honored to be able to help.”

Submitted by SMMC

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