Project Angel Food & APLA Health Partner for a New Food Pantry Every Saturday Beginning July 11, 2020 (Preview)

Friday, 10. July 2020 22:00

LOS ANGELES, July 10, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- For the first time in 30 years, Project Angel Food and APLA Health are expanding their longtime partnership to include a new distribution site for food insecure people living with HIV/AIDS, the two organizations announced Friday, July 10.

Project Angel Food was founded in 1989, six years after APLA in 1983, both in response to the AIDS crisis, and both organizations have continued to serve Los Angeles’s most vulnerable communities during COVID-19. Today, Project Angel Food is proud to continue its 20-year partnership with APLA Health by hosting a satellite food pantry for the Vance North Necessities of Life Program (NOLP). The pantry will be in operation every Saturday beginning July 11 (1:30 p.m.- 5 p.m.), in the parking lot behind Project Angel Food’s 922 Vine Street location, to alleviate overcrowding at APLA Health’s NOLP food pantry in Koreatown. 

APLA Health clients who reside in the Hollywood neighborhoods immediately surrounding Project Angel Food, will now be able to travel shorter distances to collect their pre-bagged groceries (including fresh dairy, frozen meats, fresh produce, and an assortment of canned and dry goods, as well as hygiene items and cleaning supplies) and will experience reduced wait times upon arrival. Those clients who are unable to travel, due to any number of HIV/AIDS related health complications, will be referred to Project Angel Food’s medically tailored meal delivery program, as they have been since the beginning of the organization’s partnership with APLA Health.

“I’m thrilled that APLA Health and Project Angel Food will be able to team up to serve more individuals who need support in Los Angeles County,” says Jeff Bailey, Director of HIV Access Programs at APLA Health. “Both our organizations were founded at a time of great adversity and we find ourselves in such times again. We’ve seen a nearly 25 percent increase in the number of people who use our food pantries and this initiative with Project Angel Food will ensure less people will go hungry in our community.”

“No one should have to worry about where their next meal is coming from, but the line between food security and insecurity is razor thin for some people and accessibility to nutritious food is a primary barrier. Our collaboration with partners like Project Angel Food is a giant step forward in making food and nutrition services more accessible to our clients,” says Tonya Hendricks, Program Manager for Vance North Necessities of Life Program. “The fact we can now provide 100 percent of a week’s worth of nutritious food—plus snacks—will help so many who may be struggling right now. When people living with HIV have access to healthy food, their health improves.”

Project Angel Food Executive Director Richard Ayoub states, “Although Project Angel Food expanded service in 2004 to include people living with serious illnesses such as cancer, kidney failure, and congestive heart failure, 28 percent of our clients are living with HIV/AIDS, often alone, and at or below the federal poverty level. Our partnership with APLA Health is an incredible resource for our clients for health care equity and education. We are thrilled to have a new opportunity to support their mission during these trying times.”

Project Angel Food has kept its doors open throughout the pandemic, delivering medically tailored meals to people with life-threatening illnesses who are at high risk for COVID-19. They have served Los Angeles’s diverse communities for 30 years and today, 73 percent of their clients are people of color who, in addition to facing serious illness, are facing economic hardship as well. In the past two months alone, they have gone from serving 1,600 people a day, to serving 2,100 people a day. APLA Health has maintained essential programs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to provide medical, dental, and behavioral healthcare as well as critical support for people living with HIV to those who need it. Last year, NOLP delivered more than 105,000 bags of groceries—the equivalent of nearly 1.8 million meals—to low-income individuals living in Los Angeles County.

About APLA Health: APLA Health’s mission is to achieve healthcare equity and promote well-being for the LGBT and other underserved communities and people living with and affected by HIV. We remain committed to ending the epidemic in our lifetime. We are a nonprofit, federally qualified health center serving more than 18,000 people annually. We provide 20 different services at 16 locations throughout Los Angeles County, including: medical, dental, behavioral health and HIV specialty care; PrEP counseling and management; health education and HIV prevention; and STD screening and treatment. For people living with HIV, we offer housing support; benefits counseling; home healthcare; and the Vance North Necessities of Life Program food pantries; among several other critically needed services. Additionally, we are leaders in advocating for policy and legislation that positively impacts the LGBT and HIV communities and conduct community-based research on issues affecting the communities we serve. For more information, please visit us at aplahealth.org.

About Project Angel Food: Since its inception thirty years ago, Project Angel Food has prepared and delivered nearly 13 million meals—currently 19,000 per week—free of charge to men, women and children living with critical illnesses. Project Angel Food has expanded its initial mission from serving people living with HIV/AIDS to include medically tailored meals, prepared by staff and volunteers, for those combatting cancer, kidney failure, diabetes, and congestive heart disease. The mission has always remained intact, to feed and nourish the sick, by delivering healthy nutritious meals throughout 4,400 square miles of Los Angeles County. More than 98% of Project Angel Food clientsare living at or below the poverty level, and Project Angel Food is their lifeline, filling a vital need in all communities. As our client demographics demonstrate:  38% Latino, 27% African-American, 24% Caucasian, 6% Asian/Pacific Islander, 1% Native American, 4% Multicultural.

Alex Medina
APLA Health
213.443.6518
amedina@apla.org

Anne-Marie Williams
Project Angel Food
323.845.1800 x225
awilliams@angelfood.org
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