By Lil Nickelson
Since 1985 God’s Love We Deliver have prepared and delivered food to people who are too sick to shop or cook for themselves free of charge without regard to the person’s income throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester and Nassau Counties and Hudson County, NJ.
God’s Love We Deliver serves 1.8 million meals per year. In Harlem they serve about 485 clients about 113,000 meals annually; 10% of their Harlem clients are Spanish speaking so they do have staff members on hand that are bilingual.
March is National Nutrition Month to promote healthy eating habits and nutrition education as well as celebrate the people and organizations that promote these healthy habits. Just like Black History Month in February and Women History Month, which is also in March, we need to continue and stretch these celebrations out so that discussion of these subject matters extends throughout the year. Why with nutrition? Because like God’s Love We Deliver we all should believe that no one should have to suffer the dual crises of hunger and illness, and that proper nutrition is vital to improving the health and well-being of the body and mind.
The chefs can modify the meals to be soft, minced or pureed for clients having trouble chewing and swallowing as well as make ingredient substitutions for people who require blander options.
Here’s how it works:
- Delicious Meals – are cooked from scratch in their state-of-the-art commercial kitchen in lower Manhattan.
- Home Delivery – they deliver prepared meals in one of their refrigerated vans.
- Ongoing Nutrition Support – their Registered Dietitian Nutritionists work with you to design your individualized meal plan and provide ongoing nutrition education and counseling for their clients.
- Store Your Meals – you store food in the fridge or freezer.
- Reheat Your Meals – you reheat it in the microwave or oven.
- Food is Love – enjoy healthy, great tasting meals and the support of their staff and community.
Lisa Zullig, MS, RDN, CSG, CDN who is Director of Nutrition Services for God’s Love We Deliver met me early on the last Friday in March 29th, 2019 to give me a personal kitchen tour, as well as talk to me about the nutritious, high-quality meals their team prepares for each client that are modified and tailored to people based on their specific illness. In addition, their staff provides nutrition education and counseling to their clients, families, care providers and other service organizations.
To do so 14,400 amazing people volunteer who come from all walks of life at God’s Love We Deliver each year working six shifts from as early as 6:30 am until 8 pm. Volunteers come as individuals, corporate employees, groups or for holidays or special projects; they are even opportunities for kids to volunteer too.
God’s Love We Deliver relies on the generous support of individuals, corporations and foundations for most funds that make their important mission possible. Every year contributions from people like you and me account for 65% of the total funding God’s Love receives, so every single donation, regardless of size, helps provide delicious meals and nutrition counseling for someone living with a life-altering illness.
Special projects going on right now include:
- Holiday Meal Campaign – sponsor a holiday meal to make the season special.
- Make Breakfast Count – sponsor breakfasts for a child in their home; their sick parents often struggle to get their kids to school on time.
- Birthday Bake Sale – sponsor a cake for $10 each and New Yorkers living with serious illness will get a cake on their birthday.
- Sponsor a Meal – every day, God’s Love delivers LOVE, thanks to friends like you and, you can help share the love by sponsoring a nutritious meal for a client.
The Joan Rivers Memorial Fund – God’s Love We Deliver is delighted to announce the establishment of the Joan Rivers Memorial Fund. Joan was a huge supporter and gifts to this unrestricted fund to help ensure that God’s Love We Deliver can always hold to their core principles: they will never have a waiting list and they will never charge a client for their meals.
If you work for one of God’s Love We Deliver partner healthcare organizations, they can provide meal delivery services and nutritional counseling to your members. If you work with a health plan or provider system looking to provide meals for your members and would like to partner with God’s Love We Deliver please visit the Partner With Us page on their website.
God’s Love We Deliver is located at 166 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY 10013 and their hours of operations for clients and office staff is Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. You can reach them by telephone at (212) 294-8100, their fax number is (212) 294-8101 and their website is glwd.org.
God’s Love We Deliver is truly doing what God wants us to do; to love one another and help those of us in need.
Photo credit: All photographs by Rebecca Spitz, GLWD’s.