- Reporters Desk
Pictured above (left to right): Patricia Duarte, Community Health Coordinator, and Kit Katz, Director of Community Benefit, from St. Mary Medical Center delivering meals to community in need.
Long Beach – Many things have changed amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but one thing that has flourished throughout the Long Beach community is kindness – people helping other people get through this difficult time – together. When the safer-at-home order took effect Project Angel Food lost volunteers who were delivering medically-tailored meals to residents throughout Long Beach. That’s when Dignity Health – St. Mary Medical Center, or SMMC volunteered to help.
“Project Angel Food is thrilled we can feed more people in Long Beach thanks to the assistance of St. Mary Medical Center,” said Richard Ayoub, Executive Director, Project Angel Food. “When the folks at Dignity Health heard that we had to curtail our volunteer program, because most of our helpers are vulnerable seniors, they immediately jumped into action and offered one of their drivers to pick up the slack. It’s a huge help!”
St. Mary’s Medical Transportation Department, in partnership with Project Angel Food and Council on Aging, is delivering meals to homebound chronically-ill patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Project Angel Food received a grant from St. Mary last year to expand home delivery of medically-tailored meals and nutritional counseling for older persons living in Long Beach with chronic conditions, specifically HIV/AIDS, cancers, congestive heart failure and diabetes.
“The support we have received from the community during this pandemic has been heartwarming, so it is wonderful that we are able to give back and help Project Angel Food during this difficult time,” said Carolyn Caldwell, SMMC Hospital President. “Being able to deliver these nutrient- rich meals for our most vulnerable population is critical to their health and well-being, and we are honored to be able to help.”