Beginning in October, Project Angel Heart clients will see a big change in the amount of food that volunteers deliver to their homes each week. The number of medically tailored meals in meal bags will increase from five to seven, and the amount of food in breakfast bags will increase by approximately 40 percent, as well.
The changes come as a result of recent research, including our own study, showing significant health benefits associated with providing medically tailored meals for people living with chronic disease.
“We’ve seen a greater impact on our clients’ health when more meals are provided,” said Erin Pulling, president and CEO of Project Angel Heart. “Because of that, we believe we can we can better serve clients—and see a greater return on investment in the form of reductions in clients’ health care costs—by increasing the amount of food we deliver each week.”
Currently, clients receive five medically tailored entrees, fruit, milk, bread, and sides each week. Those who are severely underweight or malnourished also receive five breakfast meals. That all adds up to an estimated 24 to 48 percent of the calories people would typically consume in a week.
Starting in October, clients will receive seven to 14 meals each week, accounting for 33 to 67 percent of their weekly nutrition.
“Project Angel Heart clients are living with an average of seven concurrent diagnoses,” said Rachael Raab, director of strategic partnerships at Project Angel Heart. “Many live alone, without a caregiver to help with meals or shopping. And many struggle financially, meaning they have to choose between buying food or their medications. Based on these and other challenges, as well as the clear health benefits that are associated with medically tailored meals, it makes sense for us to increase the number of meals we deliver each week.”
The change will result in significant increases to Project Angel Heart’s operating budget, as well as additional opportunities for volunteers. Increased food production has created a need for additional kitchen volunteers in Denver, and additional meal delivery drivers will be needed in both Denver and Colorado Springs.
If you are interested in joining our volunteer team or know someone else looking for a fun and rewarding volunteer opportunity, please sign up for an orientation here.