LOS ANGELES – Food insecurity has long been a major deterrent to good health outcomes for low-income individuals, and the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the problem. To help ensure that those with chronic illnesses receive the nutritious meals they need, L.A. Care Health Plan, the largest publicly operated health plan in the country, committed grant funding of up to $550,000 to Project Angel Food. Project Angel Food provides medically tailored meals and nutritional counselling to 2,000 low-income individuals in Los Angeles County affected by life threatening illnesses each week. L.A. Care is helping Project Angel Food reduce their waiting list.
“L.A. Care has just delivered Project Angel Food the largest health care grant in our history,” said Richard Ayoub, Executive Director of Project Angel Food. “This grant not only will impact the lives of 151 people, but every family member and every caregiver around them. It will also help us meet the increasing demand during this health crisis.”
The 151 people on the Project Angel Food waiting list were part of a rush that applied for help in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. For a year, these clients will receive medically tailored meals based upon their personal health conditions.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is shining a spotlight on just how great the need is for medically tailored meals, and we are grateful that we can help at this time,” said John Baackes, L.A. Care CEO. “Project Angel Food is doing a wonderful job building the proof needed to gain more state and federal funding for medically tailored meals for the most vulnerable in our community.”
The funding will help people battling illnesses like HIV/AIDS, kidney disease, uncontrolled diabetes, pulmonary disease and cancer.
The new grant is a continuation of L.A. Care’s support for Project Angel Food. In 2018, L.A. Care awarded Project Angel Food a $150,000 grant to help launch the L.A. County portion of a statewide Food is Medicine pilot for individuals with congestive heart failure. Last year, the health plan awarded a $110,000 grant for a six-month medically tailored food pilot with LAC+USC Medical Center for diabetes patients, with Project Angel Food providing the medically tailored meals.
About Project Angel Food
Since its inception thirty years ago, Project Angel Food has prepared and delivered more than 12 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 clients are living at or below the poverty level, and Project Angel Food is their lifeline, filling a vital need in all communities. The client demographics—38% Latino, 27% African-American, 24% Caucasian, 6% Asian/Pacific Islander, 1% Native American, 4% Multicultural. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
About L.A. Care Health Plan
L.A. Care Health Plan serves more than 2.1 million members in Los Angeles County, making it the largest publicly operated health plan in the country. L.A. Care offers four health coverage plans including Medi-Cal, L.A. Care Covered™, L.A. Care Cal MediConnect Plan and the PASC-SEIU Homecare Workers Health Care Plan, all dedicated to being accountable and responsive to members. As a public entity, L.A. Care’s mission is to provide access to quality health care for L.A. County's low-income communities, and to support the safety net required to achieve that purpose. L.A. Care prioritizes quality, access and inclusion, elevating health care for all of L.A. County. For more information, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.