Celebrity volunteers call Project Angel Food clients

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Independent Staff Report

HOLLYWOOD — Project Angel Food joined the Biden-Harris Presidential Inaugural Committee for a national day of service on Martin Luther King Jr. Day Jan. 18. with a virtual event.

Dialing for the Dream connected volunteers with critically ill Project Angel Food clients with calls of well wishes and encouragement.

Moderated by Rachel Lindsay of “Bachelorette,” actors Jonathan Del Arco (“The Closer” and “Star Trek”), Alison Pill (“Star Trek: Picard” and “The Newsroom”), Gates McFadden (“Star Trek”), Lauren Tom (“Friends”), Peter Porte (Hallmark films) and Arjan Timmermans (Apple) joined Project Angel Food Executive Director Richard Ayoub for the virtual event involving dozens of volunteers who registered through the official Presidential Inaugural Committee’s National Day of Service site.

Celebrities and volunteers each called eight to 10 Project Angel Food clients between 10 and 11 a.m.

Project Angel Food prepares and delivers life-saving meals to 2,400 critically ill people per day. During the pandemic, clients are experiencing feelings of isolation and anxiety more than ever, Ayoub said.

For that reason, the organization launched the Everest Foundation’s Telephone Angels program, sponsored by the Everest Foundation. Through the Telephone Angels program, trained volunteers check in with clients a few times a week.

Dialing for The Dream is a mini version of this program, focusing on kindness, connection and community, Ayoub said.

“What a great way to officially way to launch our Everest Foundation Telephone Angels Program,” he added. “Could you imagine how it would feel to get a call from someone saying they care about you, that you matter? We piloted this program over the past six months, and 90% of clients participating report feeling better after each call.”

“It is such an honor to be involved and to further Dr. King’s dream of equality,” Lindsay said. “Seventy-three percent of Project Angel Food’s clients are people of color which reflects the racial disparity of health care in this country and Project Angel Food’s determination to bridge that gap.”

Del Arco, who is an official surrogate of the Biden Presidential Inaugural Committee’s National Day of Service said, “Today as we launch inauguration week with a day of service, I can’t think of a better organization that embodies what Joe Biden and Kamala Harris campaigned on ‘to restore the soul of America’ than Project Angel Food. I have volunteered in the Project Angel Food kitchen and I can attest that the organization not only feeds the bodies of those who are critically ill and homebound but also their souls.”

Project Angel Food prepares and delivers over one million medically tailored meals each year, free of charge to men, women and children affected by life-threatening illnesses.

Organized in response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, it expanded its mission in 2004 to include clients living with cancer, heart failure, diabetes, kidney disease and a wide range of health issues.