If ever there was a time for food as medicine, it’s now.
Since the coronavirus epidemic began in Colorado, we’ve been bombarded with requests for help. In the early weeks of our response, our focus was on making the health and safety adjustments needed to keep preparing and delivering medically tailored meals for our clients. In March, I reached out to our community asking for support to make that happen, and we received a resounding response that allowed us to keep our skillets hot and our meals ready.
Now, we are beginning a new phase in our response to COVID-19, and it looks an awful lot like the earliest days of Project Angel Heart. We are here to improve the health and wellbeing of people experiencing life-threatening illnesses – all people, including those with COVID-19. They need our help desperately right now, so, just like the dozen or so friends who got together at St. Barnabas Church almost 30 years ago and started our organization to fight the HIV epidemic, we are stepping forward to respond to the coronavirus.
Project Angel Heart has partnered with two large healthcare providers in Colorado to provide medically-tailored meals to individuals recovering from or suspected to have COVID-19. Our research has shown that our medically tailored meals help keep people safely at home while reducing hospital re-admissions – exactly what’s needed right now. Our meals will also help alleviate some of the stress and anxiety involved in finding proper food and nutrition after a lengthy hospital stay.
We know our meals will provide the peace of mind thousands of other Coloradans have already experienced as Project Angel Heart clients. We are proud to be part of helping our communities heal from COVID-19. Thank you to everyone who is supporting us to do this.
Owen Ryan is the president & CEO of Project Angel Heart. Owen’s passion for public health was solidified during his time as a Peace Corps volunteer in Malawi. In the nearly two decades since, he has worked for a variety of health organizations, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Most recently, he served as the executive director of the International AIDS Society (IAS), in Geneva, Switzerland. Owen earned his Master of Public Health degree from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health as well as a Master of International Affairs degree from Columbia University’s School for International and Public Affairs.