Community Coming Together
for Life, for Love, for as long as it takes.
Project Angel Food was created by a group of compassionate volunteers who were concerned about our most fragile community members suffering in silence from malnutrition and the many other ravages of HIV/AIDS. We expanded our service to any person battling critical illness.
The Project Angel Food Program is founded by Marianne Williamson as an outreach program of the Los Angeles Center for Living, which helps people with life-threatening illnesses. The Center for Living provides numerous programs, such as The Clean Team, Project Nightlight and Hospice Care. We also prepare lunch for drop-in clients, but as fewer and fewer are able to leave their homes, lunch is delivered to them. Louise Hay, Marianne Williamson and David Kessler hold the first fundraiser, bringing in $11,000.
The Project Angel Food Program moves into the kitchen of the Crescent Heights United Methodist Church. The first "Angel Art," chaired by Berry and Tony Perkins, raises over $540,000. The Center for Living opens offices on Robertson Boulevard. Due to the needs of the HIV community, the demand for the Project Angel Food Program grows dramatically. Project Angel Food has two full-time staff.
With the dramatic increase in AIDS cases, the Project Angel Food Program focuses its mission on the AIDS affected community. "Divine Design" is held at the Barker Hangar and is the most spectacular event imaginable. It features over 50 designer showrooms, a designer label discount store, fantastic booths and a fantasy auction where you can bid on David Hockney to paint your swimming pool, or hold a birthday party at Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch, or have lunch with Barbara Bush at the White House. The evening brings in more than $1,300,000. Demand for meals continues to grow.
The Center for Living experiences growing pains, but meal delivery continues uninterrupted. "Out of the Closets, Into the Streets" is held on Melrose Place to raise funds and is underwritten with a $50,000 gift from Marianne Williamson. The kitchen continues to operate out of the Church, but the demand for meals pushes its limit. The search begins for a new kitchen to house the Project Angel Food Program. Elizabeth Taylor's AIDS Foundation provides Project Angel Food its first grant of $150,000.
The Center for Living formally changes its name to Project Angel Food and moves its offices to an old production office on Sunset Boulevard. The second "Angel Art" is held at the Pacific Design Center. John Gile joins as Executive Director. Leonard Nimoy donates the first agency van. Project Angel Food obtains its first-ever government grant. Project Angel Food has 13 people on staff. Meals continue to be prepared at the Church.
Over 100 people call for meal service each month. Barry Diller, David Geffen, Barbra Streisand and Ron Burkle give lead gifts for a new kitchen. Groundbreaking is held in July and the new kitchen is fully operational by November. Deliveries are expanded through drop-off centers to include Pasadena, Downtown and greater Hollywood. Ron Burkle agrees to underwrite kitchen rent on behalf of the Ralphs/ Food-4-Less Foundation. "Divine Design" is held at the Pacific Design Center.
As the face of AIDS changes, Project Angel Food changes with it. The majority of clients are now people of color, and more women and children are now on service. Eight donor-sponsored vans are now in Project Angel Food's fleet. Services expand to further geographic regions of the county.
Our two millionth meal is served. Elizabeth Taylor agrees to accept Angel Award. Project Angel Food pays tribute to 10 years of volunteers. Records indicate over 20,000 people have volunteered. Over 30,000 known cases of people living with HIV/AIDS in Los Angeles.
Over 2.5 million meals have been served. Whoopi Goldberg is honored at Angel Awards. Elizabeth Taylor returns to Project Angel Food to present the honor. 665 new clients enroll in our meal delivery program. 48 volunteer orientations train over 724 new Project Angel Food volunteers.
Our mission expands to include other illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, renal failure, COPD and others. Our new mission is to nourish the body and spirit of men, women and children affected by HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening illnesses. We pilot a six-month "Breakfast Program" to provide a second meal to 35 clients most in need. Average daily meals served = 1054.
We acquire a new building at 922 Vine Street in Hollywood for our permanent home. Groundbreaking construction party is held with Council President Eric Garcetti, Councilmember Tom LaBonge, Board Chair Merrily Newton, and representatives from Wells Fargo. Wallis Annenberg makes a $500,000 leadership gift to the campaign, with other leadership gifts following from Wells Fargo Foundation, Keck Foundation, MAC AIDS Fund, and the Ahmanson Foundation.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa hosts a ribbon cutting ceremony on November 15th marking the official opening of our new building and the delivery of the 5 millionth meal. Shirley MacLaine and Xorin Balbes are honored at Angel Awards, with Maria Shriver and Christopher Schwarzenegger opening the evening.
Our kitchen receives a perfect 100% score from the Los Angeles County Department of Health. Margaret Steele takes over the helm from long-time leader John Gile as the new CEO. Project Angel Food's expanded mission to serve various life-threatening illnesses resonates throughout the greater Los Angeles community, facilitating service to more people in need than ever before.
Our 20th year of service is celebrated at our beloved summer Angel Awards party and acknowledged with a refreshed logo to honor this important milestone. Barbie is recognized as our Fashion Icon at our acclaimed Divine Design shopping event, as part of her 50th Birthday celebration.
Our Project Angel Food Garden initiative is launched for staff and volunteers to cultivate and harvest fresh, organic vegetables and fruits for our meals, making use of community gardens and unused vacant plots donated by land owners.
Congressman Xavier Becerra (CA-31) tours the kitchen to see our life-saving work in action. Robin Fujimoto is elected as board of directors chair. Dante Di Loreto, Executive Producer of GLEE, and Lisa Lillien of Hungry Girl are honored at Angel Awards 2011, which features performances by finalists of THE GLEE PROJECT.
Our 8 millionth meal was served during this year. Our partnership with Kiehl's grew and we were the recipient of 1% of the annual sales for the Manhattan Village store. Feed Beads were created for sale at our events and continue to provide supplemental income.
Our Do Gooding Cookies program was expanded to include Pavilions locations in Pasadena, now making cookies available in 4 Los Angeles County locations. Project Angel Food also welcomed new Executive Director Laurie Lang.
We celebrated our 9 millionth meal served and 25 years of service to our community. We expanded our donated community gardens in Hollywood from two to three with the addition of the Madison Gardens. During the holiday season, we started distributing breakfast to children and grandchildren of clients.
Richard Ayoub joined Project Angel Food as the Interim Executive Director in November. Six months later, he became the Executive Director.
We celebrated our 10 millionth meal served in March. By September, we increased our menu cycle 50%, from 8 weeks to 12 weeks.