Nearly 20 percent of Project Angel Heart clients are severely underweight or malnourished. Maintaining a healthy weight is important for people living with cancer, lung disease, kidney disease, HIV, and other illnesses because it helps ensure the body has the muscle mass and energy needed to withstand treatment. It can also strengthen the immune system, make medication more effective, and lessen side-effects.
That’s why we provide a breakfast bag for clients who need extra food. In addition to their medically tailored meals, more than 200 clients each week receive a bag full of cereal, milk, and items like peanut butter, yogurt, hard-boiled eggs, and cheese that are packed with protein.
Everything in our breakfast bags is easy to eat and requires almost no prep. For those who are too sick to shop and cook, pouring a bowl of cereal or peeling a hard-boiled egg makes for an easy way to get extra calories and protein without expending a lot of energy.
“I was needing to gain weight and the meals have helped me do so,” said Tammy, a Project Angel Heart client living with stomach and colon cancer. After facing multiple surgeries and infections, and struggling to pay for both groceries and hospital bills, Tammy found herself losing weight rapidly. Her doctors referred her to Project Angel Heart so she’d have a consistent source of nutrition.
Tammy receives a breakfast bag along with her meals each week.“I love the breakfast and cereal. I feel great and am gaining [weight] slowly and looking good thanks to you!” she said. Tammy (and her cat!) are also big fans of the decorated meal bags her breakfast comes in. “My cat loves the colored paper bags and the pictures make me smile,” she told us. “We both enjoy them.”