In 1991, when Charles Robbins returned to Denver from Los Angeles, he found that friends living with HIV/AIDS were wasting away before his eyes. He founded Project Angel Heart in response, addressing a major challenge for Coloradans who are ill: getting the nutrition they need to get stronger, heal, and remain at home. Many are too sick to get to the grocery store or unable to cook for themselves. Others ﬁnd they have to choose whether to buy food or medication to make ends meet.
At ﬁrst, Charles and a group of friends solicited food from local restaurants and distributed it on the weekends. Project Angel Heart’s ﬁrst meal was a pan of lasagna donated by Racine’s restaurant and delivered to 12 clients. The organization operated out of St Barnabas Episcopal Church in Capitol Hill.
Today, Project Angel Heart provides meals for more than 1,200 critically ill Coloradans each week. Meals are prepared using fresh ingredients by a team of professional chefs and volunteers in a state-of-the-art facility in Denver’s Globeville neighborhood. Additionally, each meal is tailored to meet the medical needs of their clients. For instance, they provide heart-healthy meals that are low in sodium for people with heart disease, a renal diet for those with kidney disease, and soft or pureed meals for those who have trouble eating.
The results? Improved health and well-being for those in need. Project Angel Heart’s meal recipients include Denver and Colorado Springs residents of all ages living with serious illnesses like cancer, lung disease, MS, and HIV/AIDS, as well as their families. The meals are like medicine, improving their strength and energy and, for many, reducing health care costs and keeping them out of the hospital. Project Angel Heart’s meals are also nourishment for the soul, bringing love and hope to neighbors in need.