Food & Friends Mobilizing Sister Agencies Nationwide to Provide Meals in Puerto Rico

- October 3, 2017

10% of Food & Friends’ Slice of Life Pie Sales will be donated to Bill’s Kitchen

Washington, DC – October 4, 2017 – The pictures are heartbreaking. Two weeks after the most devastating Hurricane in history to hit Puerto Rico, an entire island has been destroyed, leaving thousands without food, water or power. Dedicated to “delivering hope, one meal at a time,” Food & Friends is doing what it can to help a sister organization in Puerto Rico – Bill’s Kitchen – by donating 10% their annual Slice of Life holiday pie sales, which last year raised $360,000. Food & Friends today wired funds to Bill’s Kitchen to help them with the immediate purchase of supplies.

“Bill’s Kitchen is the only organization in Puerto Rico providing specialized nutrition to the HIV/AIDS community, roughly 800 people annually,” said Craig Shniderman, Food & Friends Executive Director. “As with most of Puerto Rico, Bill’s Kitchen remains without electricity. There is no landline; phone service; extremely limited cell phone coverage; intermittent safe water; very limited fuel for vehicles/generators; martial law/evening curfew and oppressive heat. In times of crisis, it’s important to do the right thing.”

Food & Friends has rallied the Food Is Medicine Coalition that has sister organizations around the country to each consider a gift to Bill’s Kitchen within the means of their organization, knowing the need is immediate and will continue in the foreseeable future.

Sandy Torres, Executive Director for Bill’s Kitchen, has written to Food & Friends and other coalition partners that there is “desperation” everywhere. With no power, they depend on their generator which uses diesel fuel, a resource that has been hard to secure. She has managed to get supplies to continue cooking, but the limited communication has made procurement difficult.

In the immediate aftermath, Bill’s Kitchen was able to distribute meals and supplements from their inventory to anyone who was hungry – mostly senior citizens. Yesterday, they started supporting a local HIV Clinic (Concra) by giving them lunch for the staff, along with supplements. Using their remaining inventory, Bill’s Kitchen will be giving a case of supplement to every client to ensure they have something, if they do not have access to food.

Unable to reach many of Bill’s Kitchen’s clients because of severe flooding, Torres and her staff are working around the clock to keep feeding hot meals to those in need, including staff and patients at area clinics.

Torres writes “thank you for this invaluable support. Not only the monetary support, the ‘messages’ that keep me going; the sense that I am not alone, and feeling the love, peace and good energy to keep going ahead.”

The total Food & Friends gift will be a minimum of $30,000. If you would like more information on how to buy pies through Slice of Life to help your neighbors throughout the Washington, DC region and in Puerto Rico, visit www.sliceoflifedc.org.

Funds raised through the Slice of Life fundraiser provide home-delivered, specialized meals, groceries and nutrition counseling to people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-challenging illnesses throughout the Washington, DC area. This year, every pie purchased will cover the food, preparation and delivery for one full day of meals for a Food & Friends client, with 10% supporting Bill’s Kitchen in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Since 1988, Food & Friends has delivered more than 20 million meals to over 30,000 individuals. Next year Food & Friends will celebrate 30 years serving the community.

ABOUT FOOD & FRIENDS

Food & Friends is a Washington, DC, based nonprofit organization that provides home-delivered, specialized meals, groceries and nutrition counseling to people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-challenging illnesses. As a member of the Food Is Medicine Coalition, Food & Friends’ services are free-of-charge to recipients, who qualify solely based on their health status and nutritional need. Monday-Saturday, including holidays, staff and volunteers deliver to more than 5,300 square miles including the District of Columbia, seven counties in Maryland, and seven counties and six independent cities in Virginia. In 2017, the DC City Paper Reader’s Poll recognized Food & Friends as the best place to volunteer. For more information, please visit www.foodandfriends.org, Facebook (/foodandfriends), Twitter (@foodandfriends) or Instagram (@foodandfriendsdc).