Click HERE to learn about our plans to contribute to Angel Food East and how you can help!!
History of Angel Food East
Established in 1992 Angel Food East began by preparing and delivering nutritious, hot meals to clients with HIV/AIDS throughout Ulster County on a daily basis. The congregation at St. John's Episcopal Church on Albany Ave. in Kingston NY provided the kitchen space for Angel Food East operations and is still the home for Angel Food East 27 years later. Volunteers from the community come together and shop, prepare, cook, package and deliver meals to clients who are in need. We provide 5 hot, nutritionally balanced meals per week along with salads, breads and pastries, and 5 pieces of whole fresh fruit. For 27 years Angel Food East has had a profound impact on the Ulster County community and surrounding Hudson Valley communities. Over the years, people living with HIV/AIDS began to live longer, healthier lives and we saw a decline in the number of new request for meals. At the same time, we were getting more calls requesting our services from others in the community including the elderly and the chronically ill. Over the last few years, the number of clients has more than doubled from 25 to over 60 with a steady waiting list requesting service. Six years ago Angel Food East successfully streamlined its operations to reduce waste and utilize volunteer staff more effectively. Angel Food East operates with only one paid part-time kitchen manager and continues to need the support of grants, individual donations, and volunteers to meet its mission to serve the community.
Angel Food East has remained true and consistent to its mission for over 25 years. Volunteers assemble in the kitchen at the historic St. John's Episcopal Church on Albany Ave. Kingston, N.Y. to prepare, package and deliver hot, nutritious meals throughout Ulster County to our clients. Angel Food East procures its food from local markets, the Regional Food Bank of Northeast New York, the Farm Hub and local farms. Angel Food East has become a member of the Community Sponsored Agriculture Program or CSA, and this has resulted in an increase of local, organic farm grown produce being incorporated into our prepared meals, as well as the addition of fresh fruits into our delivery bags. Increasing the amount of locally grown food from area farms is helping Angel Food East in providing the client with a healthier meal than would otherwise be obtained from using canned foods. The practice of using farm fresh foods, especially in the summer is beneficial to not only the clients of Angel Food East but also to the benefit of the local farms in our community. Angel Food East has been able to better address individual dietary needs, for example reduced sugar and carbs in meals for those with diabetic challenges.
Angel Food East partners with Ulster County Boces and Ramapo for Children providing a place to help develop work skills for individuals requiring assistance with developmental skills and also from students in the dietary field. Volunteer drivers continue to be a crucial aspect of Angel Food East. Drivers for Angel Food East do more than deliver a meal, they provide a vital link between the recipient of the meal and the community. Volunteer drivers often engage with clients, providing a friendly smile in greeting, and may be the only contact the client has with his/her community. Our drivers also help keep us informed as to the general health of our clients. Angel Food East has become a well respected institution in Ulster County and through the delivery of hot meals to the doorsteps of the chronically ill and homebound, has become a vital lifeline for many in our community.
Angel Food East has been operating with most of the same equipment for the last 26 years and there will be a need to replace/repair some of this equipment such as ovens and freezers.This leads to increased expense in maintenance and repair. Additionally, these units generate a significant amount of heat in the kitchen with temperatures reaching over 100 degrees in the hot summer months. With the majority of our volunteers being retired and many of any advanced age, this excessive heat can be dangerous to their health, yet they continue to volunteer preparing meals for our clients.