God’s Love We Deliver: Medically Tailored Meal Spotlight

by Editorial Staff

What they do: God’s Love We Deliver (GLWD), a nonsectarian organization based in New York City, operates on the premise that “being sick and hungry is a crisis.” Founder Ganga Stone first recognized this crisis as a hospice volunteer providing care to HIV/AIDS too ill to cook for themselves. In 1985, Stone and co-founder Jane Best started GLWD and began to deliver meals by bicycle to patients across Manhattan. Today, GLWD continues to respond to the nutritional needs of the critically ill by providing medically-tailored meals and nutrition counseling for low-income people living with severe illnesses. Committed to the use of food as medicine, GLWD also participates in studies on the efficacy of medically-tailored meals by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital, Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, NYU Langone Medical Center, and other academic and medical institutions. In addition, GLWD advocates on the local, state, and national level for the incorporation of nutrition intervention into the healthcare system. To this end, GLWD collaborated with the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation of Harvard Law School (CHLPI) in 2015 to produce “The Food is Medicine Advocacy Toolkit” to provide practical guidance to food and nutrition services (FNS) providers on how to partner with health insurance systems to accomplish their work.

How they do it: Each year, GLWD prepares and delivers more than 2.5 million nutritious, high-quality meals annually for children and adults suffering from cancer, HIV/AIDS, and other serious illnesses. Each client receives medically-tailored meals specially designed to support their specific health needs by one of GLWD’s registered dietician nutritionists. GLWD provides these meals free of charge and regardless of household income to more than 9,600 clients, dependents, and caregivers annually. God’s Love We Deliver also runs a robust outreach program that attracts the participation of over 17,000 volunteer prep cooks, meal packagers, and delivery drivers each year. These volunteers outnumber paid employees by more than 100 to 1.

Mission: To improve the health and well-being of men, women, and children living with HIV/AIDS, cancer, and other serious illnesses by alleviating hunger and malnutrition.

Latest project/campaign: Every fall for the past nine years, GLWD partners with NYC-based real estate firm Douglas Elliman to put on the Douglas Elliman Ride for Love. Each year, the bike ride fundraiser attracts 50-70 participants across the country. In September 2021, bikers raised $150,000 for GLWD, bringing the total funds raised by the ride since its inception to more than $1,157,000. 

Major Funding: Contributions from local and national corporations and foundations, including the RJKB Family Charitable Foundation, Calvin Klein Family Foundation, Bank of America, and the Stephen & Alexandra Cohen Foundation.

Profit/nonprofit: Nonprofit

Annual Budget: $35 million

Interesting fact about how it is working to positively affect the food system: In addition, GLWD partners with scientists at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health, NYU Langone Medical Center, and other research institutions to study the efficacy of medically-tailored meals on improving health outcomes and reducing remission rates.

FACT SHEET:

Location:
God’s Love We Deliver
166 6th Ave 
New York, NY 10013

Number of staff: More than 135

Number of volunteers: More than 17,000 annually

Areas served: The five boroughs of New York City, Westchester and Nassau Counties, and Hudson County, NJ

Year Started: 1986

President and CEO: Karen Pearl

Contact Information: kpearl@glwd.org 

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