Project Angel Heart provides an essential service to deliver meals to Coloradans facing serious illness. Cherry Creek Insurance Group reached their goal of 500 votes + shares and won a $10,000 donation from Liberty Mutual and Safeco Insurance to contribute to the cause. Congrats to the team and thank you for supporting them!
People with life-threatening illnesses take on challenges that would be unthinkable to many of us. Managing treatments and medication of illnesses like cancer, HIV/AIDS and lung disease is a massive undertaking, but satisfying day-to-day needs alone can be a huge point of stress. Doing regular grocery shopping and ensuring those foods meet medical needs is particularly difficult.
In 1991, a group of Denver neighbors teamed up to deliver food to friends living with HIV. This group began expanding this service, and became Project Angel Heart. They haven’t stopped growing since, delivering more meals to Coloradans facing serious illness each year than the last. This year, they’ll deliver over half a million meals to more than 3,500 people.
It takes a village to serve your neighbors
Since 2019, Cherry Creek Insurance Group (CCIG) began its long-term commitment to the Project Angel Heart cause. CCIG staff volunteers at two to three events each year, and up to a third of the large agency participates.
“The most rewarding feeling about volunteering with Project Angel Heart is knowing that even this small fraction of our day will speed up the delivery of meals to many of their clients,” said Diana Rojas, a member of CCIG’s community outreach committee. “It is a team effort by so many, from the chefs and dieticians to the volunteers, to work together to provide healthy meals to those who need it the most.”
“The most rewarding feeling about volunteering with Project Angel Heart is knowing that even this small fraction of our day will speed up the delivery of meals to many of their clients.”
-Diana Rojas, Cherry Creek Insurance Group community outreach committee
Food is one thing – medically-tailored meals are another
Delivering meals takes the pressure off of these individuals and their families, but delivering meals made specifically for them can do even more. This is what Project Angel Heart’s chefs and dieticians mean by ‘medically-tailored meals.’
“Nutrition is a key factor in maintaining good health and decreasing the prevalence of chronic disease,” said Rachel Rooney, Development Partnerships Officer at Project Angel Heart. “When an individual’s health is compromised, food can slow or prevent the progression of illness. Food actually becomes a form of medicine.”
For example, a person living with kidney disease often requires meals lower in potassium, phosphorous, and sodium – minerals that may be troublesome for people whose kidneys aren’t working properly. For these clients’ meals, Project Angel Heart cuts out the dairy, and replaces the tomatoes and beans with roasted red peppers and rice. These small changes can help minimize symptoms for people with kidney disease.
“When an individual’s health is compromised, food can slow or prevent the progression of illness. Food actually becomes a form of medicine.”
-Rachel Rooney, Development Partnerships Officer, Project Angel Heart
Kind gestures become essential services
“The threat of contracting COVID-19 often makes accessing, affording, and preparing healthy meals impossible,” said Rooney. These very real dangers only pile onto the barriers to food access for those individuals who may be facing fatigue and mobility challenges.
Where many saw limitations, Project Angel Heart saw the pandemic as an opportunity to expand their services, including launching a vaccine clinic in the neighborhood where their Denver kitchen is located. CCIG has maintained their commitment through this crisis as well, continuing to prepare meals for the organization’s clients, so they can put their energy into getting healthy.
Your comment or share is no small contribution. In fact, it can help CCIG reach $10,000, or 1,200 meals for the people who need them most. Use the social share buttons to share their story with your community, and leave a comment below. Each action you take gets Cherry Creek Insurance Group and Project Angel Heart close to their goal!