Posted: Friday, November 10, 2017 – 4:29 PM
For the first time in its 28-year history, Project Angel Food will recognize the service of its 40 client veterans with a specially decorated gift bag in recognition of their service. The gift bags were decorated by local schoolchildren and will include presents donated by Paramount Pictures, The Bob Hope USO and cookies baked at Project Angel Food.
One such client, Ralph B. served for eight years as a munitions expert in Vietnam. Despite being physically and mentally devastated, he became a business owner, homeowner and husband.
During the past three years he suffered six heart attacks that left him unable to work. He lost his business and home, and his wife of 50 years left him. He relies on the medically tailored meals diligently delivered by his driver Tim and provided by Project Angel Food.
Project Angel Food relies heavily on its volunteer Angels to help fulfill the mission, and one such volunteer, James Robert Gaskell also served in Vietnam as a medic with the Marine Corps and also wore a Navy uniform. He spent more than a year in the field with the Marine Corps Infantry in Da Nang and Chu Lai and was awarded a Purple Heart. He has volunteered for 10 years at Project Angel Food together with his wife Mary. Originally, he delivered meals and then decided to work in the kitchen and is involved with all the special events in the Project Angel Food calendar. James says “This is the most worthwhile cause I have ever volunteered for.”
The bags are packed with items like the latest Ben Hur DVD, A California Veterans Resource book, homemade cookies, toiletries, commemorative pins, snacks and a special card thanking the veterans for their service. The gift bags were decorated by local schoolchildren from Beyond the Bell. The gift bags are being delivered by the Los Angeles Cedars Rotary Club.
Since 1989, Project Angel Food has prepared and delivered nearly 11 million meals – currently 11,000 per week – free of charge to men, women and children living with critical illnesses. Project Angel Food expanded its initial mission from serving people living with HIV/AIDS to include medically tailored meals, prepared by the 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 LA County. More than 98% of Project Angel Food clients are living below the poverty level, and Project Angel Food is their lifeline, filling a vital need in all communities.