How would the CBDTP affect God's Love?
God’s Love We Deliver is New York City’s leading not-for-profit provider of medically tailored meals and nutrition counseling for people living with life-threatening illnesses. We are dedicated to cooking – and delivering – the specific, nutritious meals a client’s severe illness and treatment so urgently require. We support families by providing meals for the children and caregivers of our clients. All our services are provided free of charge to clients, and we are proud that in our 36-year history, we have never had a waiting list.
Our kitchen and home-base is in SoHo in Manhattan. Every weekday, without fail, our refrigerated meal delivery vans travel in and out of the Central Business District to deliver life-saving meals to people living with serious illness in all five boroughs, Westchester, Long Island and parts of New Jersey. Illness knows no boundaries. We serve every demographic with most of our clients identifying as populations of color – and most live at or below the Federal Poverty Level. As an essential service provider, God’s Love has not missed one delivery day, and at the height of the pandemic, saw a 30% increase in demand.
We are requesting an exemption from the Central Business District Tolling Program for our refrigerated delivery vans. Modelling rates on previous congestion pricing proposals, this program has the potential to cost God’s Love $500,000 annually and impact the delivery of over 2.4 million meals to 9,000 individuals who live outside of the Central Business District. This sum for tolls will dramatically hurt our ability to provide life-sustaining meals and threaten our commitment to never having a waiting list for services.
While we support the environmental and equity goals of the Tolling Program, these gains cannot be made at the expense of the most vulnerable and isolated in our communities.
CBDTP is designed to promote equity by enhancing the public transit system through new revenues – why are you saying it would increase inequity?
While we support the environmental and equity goals of the Central Business District Tolling Program (CBDTP), these gains cannot be made at the expense of the most vulnerable and isolated in our communities.
An outsized portion of adverse health outcomes find their root in lack of access to good nutrition, and that lack of access is predicated on healthcare inequities – both racial and socioeconomic. God’s Love serves those adversely affected by the epidemic of serious and chronic illness in our country, which disproportionately affects communities of color. Our experience of service has shown us the deep disparities in health outcomes that our communities face and demonstrates that good nutrition is part of the solution.
While there is no singular action that will create health equity in America because racism is systemic, God’s Love seeks to address the inequity that already exists and to rebalance health in favor of our clients through the services we provide. By ensuring that, when an individual is living with severe or chronic illness, they get access to the right kind of food to produce better health outcomes, we enable our clients to have a similar opportunity to use diet to their advantage when addressing their medical condition.
CBDTP is an environmental program - why are you against it?
We support the equity and environmental goals of the CBDTP, but the gains cannot be made at the expense of nonprofits already working to create more equitable access to nutrition support for vulnerable communities. We are not asking for exemptions for personal vehicles for staff or volunteers, but only for our refrigerated meal delivery vans. Without them there is no way to get our meals to our clients.
What actions has God’s Love taken to be more sustainable?
As a provider of food and nutrition services to people living with serious illnesses, God’s Love We Deliver is committed to selecting products that promote health and sustainability. These considerations are vital to protecting our clients’ health, our local economy, and our environment.
Serving up Upcycled Broth
We are thrilled to share that we’ve started a new partnership with Martriark Foods, a company that sells delicious broth concentrates made from upcycled vegetables.
The cost of food waste to our earth is immense. From the pollutants that enter the soil and watershed from intensive agriculture, to the carbon dioxide that is released into the atmosphere when organic matter slowly breaks down in landfill. To cut down on our waste, we have a digester on-site in our kitchen, but we’re excited to double down on our efforts by partnering with a company that is actively designing waste out of the larger food system, turning vegetable remnants that might otherwise be thrown away into something both delicious and nutritious.
Sustainability from Near and Far
Our diverse relationships with sustainable partners range from hyperlocal organizations to global companies. Our partnership with Project EATS provides organic herbs grown just miles away on the rooftop garden at Essex Crossing that make our meals even more nutritious and flavorful. Our regional relationships with New York State producers ensure healthy local produce and proteins. And many of our spices now come from Burlap & Barrel, a single origin spice company that works with small farmers worldwide. We’re thrilled to receive support from our community for our investment of time and resources in the inextricably linked health of our clients and our environment.
Not only does our rooftop herb garden provide us with gorgeous views of tulips annually, but we also grow herbs which we then cook in our meals. We hope you can stop by the roof the next time you’re here to see our new signs which describe which menu items use which herb!
Nutrition and Sustainability Guidelines
Our Nutrition Services and Kitchen Departments have created nutrition and sustainability purchasing standards for all types of products. These guidelines are in alignment with both overall agency goals and the nutrition education that clients receive from our Registered Dietitian Nutritionists.
Taking Care of the Earth and Each Other
As we look ahead to cooking and home-delivering more than 2.5 million medically tailored meals in 2021, we do so proudly growing our sustainability efforts, taking care of the earth and each other.
Please find out more here: https://www.glwd.org/blog/a-menu-for-sustainability/
What is the mission of God's Love We Deliver?
The mission of God’s Love We Deliver is to improve the health and well-being of men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other serious illnesses by alleviating hunger and malnutrition. We prepare and deliver nutritious, high-quality meals to people who, because of their illness, are unable to provide or prepare meals for themselves. We also provide illness-specific nutrition education and counseling to our clients, families, care providers and other service organizations. All of our services are provided free to clients without regard to income.
Where do you get your funding?
God’s Love operates with an annual budget of over $27M, of which 65% is raised through private philanthropy.
How many clients did you provide meals for last year? How many meals?
In FY 21 ending on June 30, 2021, we cooked and home-delivered 2.5+ million meals to more than 9,600 individuals
How can I get meals for my loved ones?
We know fresh, healthy meals can make all the difference in the world if you or someone you love is living with a chronic or life-altering illness like cancer, Alzheimer’s, renal failure, COPD, HIV/AIDS, or other serious condition. We deliver delicious meals right to your door whether you’re living with or recovering from an illness, and having trouble shopping or cooking. Our Registered Dietitian Nutritionists work with you to design your individualized meal plan. We’re here for you! Find out if you qualify by downloading our forms, getting a medical provider’s signature, and returning your forms to God’s Love We Deliver.