Why They’re Food Heroes: The essential workers of God’s Love We Deliver make it possible for the food and nutrition non-profit to cook, package, and home-deliver 2.5 million medically tailored meals to people living with severe illness in NYC each year. During the coronavirus pandemic, with fewer volunteers due to social distancing guidelines and a rapidly increasing number of clients to serve, they have continued to keep New York’s most vulnerable residents nourished and cared for with meals that heal.
Background: God’s Love We Deliver was born in response to the AIDS pandemic 35 years ago. The organization started as one woman, Ganga Stone, delivering one meal to a man who was dying from AIDS, and has since grown into an organization that is central to New York’s food and nutrition services infrastructure. God’s Love cooks and home-delivers Registered Dietitian Nutritionist-designed meals to people living with severe and chronic illness.
Work: From the kitchen to the moment of delivery, everyone on the God’s Love team ensures that people living with severe and chronic illness receive the food that they need. The Kitchen team is responsible for the safe and sanitary preparation of a 28-day cycle menu, designed in partnership with the Registered Dietitian Nutritionists in the Nutrition Department. Meals are also designed in accordance with guidelines established by the Food is Medicine Coalition and agency standards to meet the diverse cultural needs of the clientele. The Client Services and Healthcare Partners Departments welcome new clients on to the program and ensure that each client gets the support they need throughout their time on the program. The IT and Systems Department ensures delivery routes are scheduled efficiently. After Meal Packaging prepares clients’ customized meal bags, the Delivery Department transports meals to clients’ homes. Drivers are trained to note signs of deterioration in a client’s condition and follow procedures to trigger the appropriate level of intervention. The Facilities Department and all volunteers additionally help the organization run smoothly.
Location: Soho, New York
Awards, Praise and Honors: God’s Love We Deliver was a finalist in the Social Determinants of Health ‘Call for Innovations’ Initiative, for “addressing food insecurity through the delivery of medically tailored meals and medical nutrition therapy to more rural and other high-need populations using a food-safe shipping carrier, and for using telemedicine to deliver nutritional assessment and counseling to individuals.”
Website: God’s Love We Deliver
Resources and References:
- Our COVID-19 Response (God’s Love We Deliver)
- The Evidence for Medically Tailored Meals (God’s Love We Deliver)
- Health Insurers Are Beginning to Include Coverage for Healthy Foods. Could It Save Lives? (GoodRx)
- New York State Department of Health Announces Finalists in Social Determinants of Health ‘Call for Innovations’ Initiative (New York State Department of Health press release)