We have a new mission statement: “Mama’s Kitchen, a community-driven organization, believes that everyone is entitled to the basic necessity of life — nutritious food. Our nutrition services improve the lives of women, men, and children vulnerable to hunger due to HIV, cancer or other critical illnesses.” After many months of thoughtful discussion and consideration, this new statement was unanimously approved by our board of directors at their May 24, 2017 meeting. Though we’ve made no immediate expansion commitments, this new mission statement gives Mama’s Kitchen the opportunity to explore services where nutrition can improve health outcomes in the lives of those living with critical illnesses.

We’re excited, as it looks like our first opportunity to act on our expanded mission will be through the implementation of a pilot project that has been approved by the State of California. Funded at $6 million over a three-year period, this innovative medically-tailored meal delivery project will target low-income Californians with challenging illnesses. The funding for this pilot project is included in SB 97, a budget bill that was approved and included in California’s 2017-18 budget.

The California Food Is Medicine Coalition – which includes Project Open Hand in San Francisco, Ceres Community Project and Food For Thought in the North Bay Area, Health Trust in San Jose, Project Angel Food in Los Angeles, and Mama’s Kitchen – worked in close collaboration to secure these funds and will implement this project throughout parts of the state.

We, the California Food is Medicine Coalition, are currently working on the details of this pilot project (target populations, level and length of intervention, proposed outcomes, etc.) for a projected start date of January 1, 2018. Stay tuned for more details to come.

Finally, we’re certainly grateful for the acknowledgement as a California Nonprofit of the Year by both State Senator Ben Hueso and State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher. This recognition is the result of the amazing work done by our dedicated volunteers and staff, the commitment of our board of directors, and the consistent generosity of our donors.

Alberto Cortés, Executive Director