How many meals have been cooked for loved ones in your kitchen? Hundreds? Thousands?
At Mama’s Kitchen, the San Diego-based nonprofit that for years has served free food to people living with HIV/AIDS and cancer patients, the answer is 6 million. The milestone meal was delivered to a client Friday by Supervisor Ron Roberts and Alberto Cortes, executive director of Mama's Kitchen.
The organization was launched some 20 years ago by volunteers from the AIDS Assistance Fund after they discovered many people with AIDS were dying from complications of malnutrition because they were low-income and too ill, isolated and emotionally devastated to help themselves.
In 2009, the organization refocused its mission, and now serves clients living with AIDS or any type of cancer. The nonprofit also provides meals to minor dependent children who live with a client parent.
With a motto of “Nourishing the Heart, One Meal at A Time,” Mama's Kitchen served an average of 953 meals a day last year to 572 people—for an annual total of nearly 348,000 servings, according to the group. Nearly 800 volunteers helped take the food around to men, women and children throughout San Diego County.
In 2011, the total number of meals served in Patch communities was:
- Carlsbad: 2,252 meals
- Camp Pendleton: 11,004 meals
- Encinitas: 267 meals
- Imperial Beach: 1,384 meals
- La Mesa: 6,246 meals
- Lemon Grove: 5,877 meals
- Rancho Bernardo: 2,022 meals
- Santee: 5,724 meals
Volunteers donated more than 31,000 hours of time to serving Mama’s Kitchen last year. According to the organization, $20 covers the cost of six meals for Mama’s Kitchen clients.
Want to help out with your time or a donation? The organization’s website has all the information you’ll need to get involved and help those in need take a seat at Mama’s table.
—City News Service contributed to this report.