NEW YORK — It’s a typical busy day inside the kitchen of God’s Love We Deliver.
The food is individually designed by registered dietitians and will be delivered to the city’s most frail and sick, half of them living with four or more medical conditions and a very specialized diet.
“They are meals that heal,” said the group’s CEO, Karen Pearl. “They give them the nutrients they need to stay out of the hospital.”
Pearl said since the pandemic started, the need for these free meals has increased by 25%.
Plus, there have been logistical adjustments to deal with the pandemic, from the kitchen — where volunteers wear masks, and there’s a focus on sanitizing and social distancing — to the home deliveries — which are now no-contact deliveries.
PIX11 tagged along wih one of their volunteers, Laura Kaufman, making a delivery Tuesday afternoon.
“Food is medicine, but also, it’s that personal contact,” she said.
Volunteers like Kaufman are needed now more than ever.
Before the pandemic, she’d be able to stay and visit. Now, it’s all about safety and space.
Kaufman leaves the meal at the door, knocks, steps back and stays six feet away.
She’s been delivering to Barbara Devaney for more than a year.
Devany is living with lung cancer and hasn’t left her home since early March. She said she looks forward to the visit.
“God’s Love We Deliver is just fabulous,” she said. ” I don’t know what I would do without it. It’s a lifeline, it really is.”
The group serves all five boroughs, Westchester, Long Island and New Jersey.
They started back in 1985 during the AIDS crisis. Now, the organization is delivering during a new pandemic, but with the same mission in mind.
“All of their safety nets have collapsed,” said Pearl. “Everything has changed. Family used to visit and now they are scared to visit. Senior centers are closed. People need us more than ever.”
They rely on private donations and volunteers. If you’d like to help, visit their website.