5 Groups Providing Food To People With Chronic Illness

People living with long-term illnesses and disabilities may find it difficult to shop for and prepare meals, and the cost of managing these ailments can present an added financial hurdle. In no particular order, this list highlights organizations making and delivering food to those in need of a helping hand.

Taking the #1 spot is Community Servings, a non-profit food and nutrition program providing services in Massachusetts to individuals and families living with critical illnesses. It was founded in 1990 by a coalition of AIDS activists, faith groups, and community organizations to provide home-delivered meals to individuals living with HIV.

In addition to delivering meals to the sick, Community Servings has registered dietitian nutritionists on staff who offer clients a range of services, beginning with a comprehensive diet screening and assessment. The organization also advocates for better food and health policies.

The #2 entry is Mama's Kitchen, a San Diego-based, community-driven organization that believes everyone is entitled to nutritious food. It prepares, packages, and delivers meals at no cost to people in the region who are too ill to shop and cook for themselves.

The organization also runs a food pantry on-site at its facility. To pay for its efforts, it holds several fundraisers throughout the year, including Mama's Day, a dinner tasting with over 55 participating restaurants that prepare signature dishes for guests.

Coming in at #3 is Organic Soup Kitchen, located in Santa Barbara, California. This organization provides oncology nutrition advice and works to address food insecurity to a diverse demographic of individuals struggling with the effects of cancer and chronic illnesses by delivering them soup.

In addition to food delivery, OSK runs an initiative called Conscious Caregiving. This program is intended to combat compassion fatigue by offering caregivers an outlet to openly have discussions, care for themselves, and thrive with like-minded individuals experiencing similar situations through yoga classes, massages, and more.

Up next, at #4, we have LifeCare Alliance. This nonprofit offers an array of health and nutrition services to residents of Central Ohio. Founded in 1898 as the Instructive District Nursing Association, the organization was Columbus's first in-home health care agency and the state's first Visiting Nurse Association.

LifeCare Alliance is one of the largest Meals-on-Wheels providers in the United States, producing thousands of meals for seniors and medically challenged and disabled individuals each day. Additionally, the organization delivers after-school and daycare food for children ages three through twelve.

Last but not least, at #5, we present Project Angel Heart. Founded in 1991 in Colorado, it prepares and delivers medically tailored meals to people living with life-threatening illnesses. Incorporating a wide array of culinary traditions and cultures, the organization's chefs create meals that feature fresh ingredients, including vegetables and herbs from its garden and local community farms.

Project Angel Heart hosts a number of events throughout the year, including cooking classes run by its executive chef and Dining Out For Life, meant to support local restaurants and raise funds to provide meals for neighbors living with HIV and AIDS.