Sunday, October 16th


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Good morning and welcome to another edition of living veteran San Diego public service presentation of the and a count San Diego radio stations and Carrie Lee. Mama's kitchen is a local organization that provides nutrition support to man or women and children affected by HIV and aids and cancer. Who are vulnerable to hunger the core of what they do it mama's kitchen is free home delivered meals but that's not all. They'll talk about their meals program and some of the other programs they offer. Joining us this morning his mom's kitchen executive director Alberto court test welcome Alberto Terry thank you. Great to have you on the show again and then the first colony let me thank you for stepping up in filling in this week originally was going to be next steps service dogs that. Conflict occurred and he stepped up to the plate King and I appreciate that. Thank you for that the opportunity and I'm grateful it's always great at seeing you and having you on the show as a mentioned and how about a little background information how long is that mom's kitchen and around. Mama's kitchen has been around for 26 years and in that space time we have. Delivered over eight million meals to see Indians. Affected by aids or cancer and originally started out the organization was only catering to those with HIV and aids right correct we started. In 1990s. In the throes of the aids epidemic in the early years of the epidemic when people were. And aids diagnosis was closer to a death sentence. Right now it's I'd lost my brother in 1995 some men and it was. Nothing like it is now absolutely come a long way still a lot of lot of work that needs to be done indeed indeed but it's certainly different illness these days yeah yeah a little background information about mama's kitchen. Well we'll get into more about what is it you do the actual programs stuff but just little background. So so as you indicate that we started as an aids service organization. And over the years. I'm expanded. Our mission to include people with cancer. And in the early days we were serving. Mora and closed area or defined area of the city of San Diego. We have since expanded our services to include North County east county's health they. We really sort of on the come to a basis and the scope of our services is also increased to include. Pantry services nutrition education services in addition to a core service of home delivered meals as always from day one we continue to be. Volunteer driven organization I really a few that it's better defined when when I say that we really aren't community based organization. That provides many opportunities for engagement of the San Diego community for the expression of our mission and where you guys located. Would located in home having you we have lovely facility that we moved into about five years ago. That. Has a wonderful pitcher and and provides a great environment. For the preparation of food for our pantry. Flora the space that we use for nutrition education classes it's it's lovely setting. And it's wonderful setting for our volunteers. And staff. And this dislocation. Considerably larger than your last location for this yes. Yes we more than doubled in space where. Occupying a two story you live in thousand square foot space that includes a wonderful kitchen in. Staging area things that others may take for granted like coach loading dock apart Keith not. So we're world grateful to be in this setting that allows a greater capacity. For the expression of our mission and what is the mission that if mama's kitchen we believe that everyone is entitled to the basic necessity of life nutritious food. We wrote community driven organization. That provides nutrition services. To men women and children. Were affected by aids or cancer that are vulnerable to hunger. Now I read that last year mama's kitchen delivered. Over 284000. Meals to 394 San Diego and affect by HIV and aids. More than 7000 meals to a 196 Indians affected by cancer. And more than 46000. Meals 206 children's parents. Are affected or were affected by HIV. Aids or cancer those are some incredible numbers. Yes they are and our capacity. To make that happen at that school bove wrote these really a bow out. The community that supports us financially and supports us with their time and their talent mama's kitchen is an organization that has thirteen employees. And it has over 850. Volunteers. Who last year alone. Gave. Over 34000. Hours of time. And volunteers are involved in every step of the process of the development implementation of our mission. They prepare food in the kitchen they deliver food to homes throughout San Diego County. Base that far pantry they and so our phones. They help us with a fundraising activities. There were involved in our board of directors. Every aspect of the organization involves people so that certain warned. Critical and important component for our mission. The other piece is the fundraising peace we have a budget of close to 2.4. 2.5 billion dollars. Most of those dollars are private contributions. From people in San Diego individuals. Small companies. Fundraisers at schools and churches to food drives. It really is. Very comprehensive community response. Sierra. Who drives out of that the grocery store right around the block him from station you yes weekends I'll see him out there yes there. Usually there. Twice a month pretty much every month yeah now live with and one talk about. Couple of your upcoming events and before we do that let's let's begin a little deeper to some of the programs that you that you do offer. Let's talk a little bit more about those meals yes I had your executive chef and Carter on the show the forces just on on the show last month is now effect. Daniels is it that she's preparing. So. We look to healer or services. To the needs of the people that we serve. Because the first question that I am asking is why do we exist. And Powell were YE. Is a buy outs. Addressing the nutritional needs of people that are formidable to hunger because they're sick. If we weren't around there is a group of people. That would not have. Either the support system or the financial well being or heard the physical ability to address the nutrition needs. Wind or hail and therein lies the vulnerability for them of hunger and malnutrition. And what we do is look to not only provide food we're not a soup kitchen. We are looking to provide. A response that is that's specific to the needs of each of those clients. If they're diabetic we're gonna send them a meal. Meals that are modified to meet that health requirement. If they had need a low salt by what they need a bland diet in addition. We know that for example for people with HIV for people with cancer going through treatment. That nutritious. Food needs to include. Possibly more calories and greater source of protein so that kind of tailoring. Of our service to be as specific to the needs of those vulnerable clients. Is what we're about. We look to provide fresh food we do to provide healthy food we look to provide food that is relevant and helpful. To the health challenges that our clients have so it's not a one meal fits all. No it's not we do a lot of special diets based on the needs of each client. That's great that so there's a lot of a lot of prep that goes in there is a lot of preparation and a lot of planning. And allowed. Of logistics involved in order to get it all right and how many meals a day. Do you provide so we proved try and push for all the folks in recent you know homes delivered service are receding. A 100% of their nutritional needs they're getting three meals for each day for seven days of the week. If they're on our program for a year they're gonna get all three meals for every day of that year and so we prepare. I'm proud to 900 meals today to a thousand. And we deliver food three times a week. And Mondays Wednesdays and Fridays. Each client receives six meals on Monday for two days of food. Six meals and when state again fruit another two days of food and nine meals on Friday took over the remainder of the week and the weekend. And the cycle starts again on Monday so we are always in new preparation hooked right and you have to death. And and you are providing meals for for the children to absolutely we've learned a long long long time ago that. Our clients as sick as they may be if they have children at home. And their children's nutrition needs aren't being that they will get their food to their children so it made absolute sense and we've been doing this for now. Not with two approaching eighteen years now that we have also been providing food to. The dependent children. Of the people that we sort of an improvement in and the meals are delivered. I you volunteers that are delivered by our volunteers. We deliver an account to like basis as far south as San Ysidro as far north as. Places like ocean side. Power away. Ramon. Out east have places like Alpine alcohol own. We really. Make every effort to address seemed the nutrition needs of anybody who lives in San Diego County. And how does somebody get on on the list at a somebody yes how somebody get these meals could questions area and it. It's actually not a self. Referral program it's a third party referral program. Our clients come to us from their primary care providers. Referred to by hospitals. Referred to by social service organizations. Case managers case worker is nurse practitioners. Health care. Folks that are in the system so voter. Those organizations are the ones we reach out to to let them know that our service is available for their clients. And they are the ones that make the referral into the program. And and provide us the basic information that we need in order for us to start a person in the program. And home it's a system that works well. Because as long as were connected to the organizations that are providing services. To the people that we serve. We know that those that qualify are coming to us. Now you have you mentioned mama's pantry to address another service of viewers to a slim bit about that sure knew we established the pantry in 2004. As in a way of developing that continuum of nutrition services. And their pantry. Is provided for folks that may be healthy but have a financial challenge in our intense with that. Is to not. Allow. A financial challenge to create an environment of malnutrition. That could then accelerate illness and get her a person into our Hartnell program. What we're looking to do is look to maintain the level of health. Where individuals. That may be financially challenged are getting food and taking care of their nutritional needs. We get about four to 500 visits and or pantry every month. And it's a shopping experience. It's not a prepackaged thing we have shells with food. Our goal is to have. I was in much of the river idea and sources of protein it's like means fresh meats. Milk cheese eggs. Tuna fish. Peanut butter I mean we really looking to provide. A shopping experience they they come in as if there in the store and they picked the items that they want and akin. Like all or other services. There is no charge to the users of that service can anybody with HIV or aids or cancer so this program is specifically for a Koreans who have HIV. And the requirements are. The a demonstration of a diagnosis. Of residency. In San Diego County. And there is an income criteria because he intends to the program is to help folks. That are living on limited incomes so 14100 dollars anybody. Whose income is 14100 dollars or less can I show up at the pantry Tyson. And you had an emergency food assistance program tape yes and the event is an relatively new program that is funded by the county of San Diego. Through Ryan White funding. For folks with HIV who may have a financial emergency situation. Where for a short period of time. They need food like if they need to move in they had to put it the positive for rent or some exceptional financial challenge. This program steps in to help them in that sure. Period of time. By providing more food and have that be one less thing. Wouldn't worry about so it's not long term it isn't program is not long term it's really one of a series of components to address a crisis situation. And another thing that you offer is say yeah nutrition and education circus yes we started this program a few years back for our pantry clients. And who started it as they. In a classroom setting where we've we're providing. Nutrition education classes. That has since been modified to. Into true. Different things one there's no one on one nutrition coaching. And so that folks affected by HIV can come to our agency. Meet with the nutritionists. On a one on one basis to help. Damn. Addressed nutrition needs educate them. On healthier eating. And provide. Sundry ways of learning about food like how to read the label. How to. I'm go shop being mean really it's a set of skills that we're looking to provide our clients so that they can be a self sufficient as possible. In addressing their nutrition needs. Another component of that is a medical nutrition therapy which is a much more tailored. Form of an intervention. That happens in a clinic setting where patients are referred by their medical provider. True to registered dietitian. We've instructions from the doctor as to what their health challenges are. And there is a very close connection between the care provider. And a nutritionist. To help address the medical challenges of the clients. With among other things nutrition. Counseling. And Taylor Green and educating them on meals and nutrition and specific to their illnesses. And that's measured through blood work to see improvement in health so it's very very tied. And very tailored. To health challenges so that the sounds like there's follow ups as far as my best and are there are follow ups that happen in. To assess if and those health markers are improving. And give any further ten and we mean. Food consumption and nutrition needs to happen and have somebody take part in in this program. Both happen at the clinic levels so we currently are working with fits the community clinic and we go to their clinic and they're referring. There HIV clients into this program. So they're the ones that decide who needs this very specific service. We're currently working with another community clinic. Also to start this very program in another setting himself pay. And so we're really excited because it's a very. Very specific service they can have. A huge impact on an individual basis and the fact that we're able to get it funded and making it accessible to clients. Is really wonderful because it's a very. It could be a very costly intervention otherwise yeah it definitely would have a major impact. I'm community yes yes and you said this is fairly new new pro investment this is something we've just started this year OK yes so really excited to be. Partnering with our own community clinics to offer this very tailored service. And Al couple of events coming up we definitely wanna talk about yes first. Is your pie in this guy's fund racer which is set up and running all right yes and so I'll preface this crisis I think that I am. I mentioned earlier that all the services that we provide our free of charge to people who receive them. He probably wouldn't be able to pay for them and they had to. But it's not that they don't cost anything that is a cost involved in providing these services and this is where fundraising activities. Like a pie in the sky. Thanksgiving sale. And a tree of life and other events are so critical for the organization in addition to do. General supportive the community. Because. It's. Those programs where those dollars go. That's where the dollars raised go to support these very programs that we've just described and so it's it's really important and kindest guy which is this is our twelfth year. Our provides an opportunity. For people to. Purchase of pie. For Thanksgiving. So they can mark something off their to do list for Thanksgiving. And also support the mission of mama's kitchen. And so you can feel good about one less thing to day week. While supporting. A program that. Makes a difference in the lives of hundreds of people and the money goes to into mama's kitchen on and anyone particular programs right it goes in to support. The services that we provide all the services yes this goes until when people can buy their ties by going to Obama's ties dot ORG. And or doing their Thanksgiving pies they'll be able to do that until Friday. The Friday before Thanksgiving. And be able to pick up their pies do Wednesday the day before Thanksgiving. At one of twenty somewhat different locations throughout San Diego County so it'll be. Easy to order and the easy to pick up. The important thing is if you go to one of those settings in UCR pies. You might be able to purchase one on site. The safer thing to do is still order it ahead of time because you will have a pie with your name and a bad day. If you wait for the last minute. You run the risk of not getting a pot. To say right at the site and and you have different at varieties yes we have different varieties of pie we have pumpkin pie. We have traditional. Apple we have to con Dutch apple pies. And there each available for 25 dollars apiece I get the the Dutch apple every year low the piety and you have. I'm bakers from all day Allie did that contribute right this is what makes it a really wonderful event. The pies that you receiving are from. Restaurants. Catering services big crews throughout San Diego. Who donate these pies so Europe contribution goes directly to mission related activities. Because these pies donated. And part of the surprises that until you open your pie. You don't know who donated that pie but in the inside of the box it will give the name of the restaurant in Decatur. Who donated the pie and so you know that. You know who's supporting us we're grateful for their participation. And we're grateful for Roloson Higgins who by pies are you in need of any any bakers at this time. Tales yeah we're always looking for bakers who certainly is anybody's interest that they're welcome to call mama's kitchen. And talked to weren't of any of our staff room direct them to somebody who would be willing to. I take their information and welcomed their pie it's tells about the client I. We send out a traditional Thanksgiving meal tool our clients on Thanksgiving Day. So we also have an opportunity through the pie in the sky event. For you to purchase. A high for our clients so you're helping us sending. This fame thing that you're getting to the clients that we served and they really. Are grateful. For now to leave the traditional meal that they're receiving from us. Would also forward so wonderful pie that they'll get so you can hide yourself. And a client I as well yes yes. We certainly encourage that LS she raised over from what I understand from 91000 dollars that's that's a lot of pies. That is a lot of pies and so. Challenge. It is that we exceed that this year. So if you bought one pile last year. You might wanna consider buying too. I'm all for that but. We have a few more minutes left we get if you wanna talk about. Wanna talk about your other event nets coming up December 1 world aids day manage your tree of life lighting ceremony yes this is held a deal chill fast right yes what time is it this year. It's going to be at 6 PM and he's an opportunity that we have to create awareness about HIV aids because. It's not in the news as it used to be decades back. And reality is that aids is still a challenge in our community still impacts a community. Even though it may not be as visible as it was in at one time. Reality is we still in our country's sealed for 40000 new infections a year. Reality is that there's more. People living with HIV. Than ever before. Now the reality is that it's a different epidemic today people living with HIV. Can benefit from. Medications and treatments. Where person living with HIV today can be better described as living with a chronic condition. Verses the deadly disease that it was in the eighty's and ninety's so. Awareness of about education and prevention. And awareness about what it means to be leaving living with HIV. Is as critical as ever. People who don't know there HIV status. Run the risk. Of coming down with not only being HIV positive but being diagnosed ways we still see too many people. Whereas the period between an HIV. Positive test and an aids diagnosis. Happens really close together. That could be prevented by early detection and of the disease. Where people can start treatment as soon as possible. And prevent coming down. We all love that challenges and illnesses associated. With compromised immune system because the virus has gone untreated in the body. And the tree of life lighting ceremony and a great way to honor and remember this those who was lost ace and two. Raise awareness about those still fighting the fight absolutely wheels so who as you said we really look to our nerve. And remember folks that are friends and families that have. Passed away from aids and in the process create awareness and celebrate and acknowledge folks who were living with HIV. And the challenge in support that they need. Yeah this is an idea family tradition I think for for my family even do and I think fifteen plus years now. To explain what it is how people can purchase of an ornament that goes on Christmas tree yes and they can put any kind of inscription inside that this ornament and they'll stay up on the Christmas tree for how long. But they opened the Christmas three throughout the month of December they will come down on just after new year so. It's an inscription where many people looked weak knowledge to love when they lost which may be some people look to use this as an acknowledgment. Of people who work currently living with HIV is an acknowledgment of folks who are working in the field. I mean it's it's certainly. A way of creating awareness and a multitude of ways. And it's in their lovely setting where it will be exposed as I said until the end of December. Right it's right there in the open so anybody coming to do until crest will see it yes yes several trees yet remain one and then you have a couple of smaller ones to that is exactly and what what else can people expect. In addition to a being. Was taking advantage of who perfected it to world aids day and looking to create awareness. It's a way of us kicking off the spirit of the holidays. And one of the closing aspects in addition to a candlelight vigil. That takes place the clothes he component of the ceremony. Is to send you games chorus who command. And entertained. Folks with holiday songs. That gets people in the spirit of the holiday so it's a commemorative event. That ends on a high note. And in the spirit of hope and light so we are thrilled that they're there every year the course is part of the tradition of this event. And we have also. Civic and elected leaders who come and speak. And address the crowds and it's a lovely experience all overall. At a gay men's chorus that was puts on a great a great performance and do Anders coffee refreshments yes yes and we also have present a panel from the aids quilt. Which is a tradition that started in the early nineties. And has been a part of the awareness. Creating. A round HIV. There's also going to be a red river in the wall. Where people can hand red ribbons and take pictures so it's a memorable event and and we certainly invite ten deacons to come. And participate. We invite them to purchase ornaments. The cost of one ornament is fifteen dollars where people can purchase two for 25 dollars again all the proceeds from the tree of life ceremony. Benefit mama's kitchen. And go directly to the provision of food and nutrition. To the people that we serve and can they purchased those ornaments ahead of time on line can they can and they can. Provide messages that we can then right and B ornament and make sure there hung on that day they can also a purchase ornaments at the event. All right so to recap yes your pie in the sky fund raiser up and running now where can people purchase of five. They can proceed putt by going to work highly specific website mama's pies that ORG. It's a very unique user friendly web site where people can read through the order. Whatever number of pies they want you get to pick up there on the website as well where you're going to appear pie. They'd give you the list of the places where you can. Pick up your pie the day before Thanksgiving you also welcome to go to our main web site and learn more about who we are. What we do and how we do we do and they invite folks to come and visit our facility. We love having people come and see what we do because. I can almost guarantee you that you will be. Inspired. To form part of our family. And the deadline for purchasing the ties the Friday before thanks in gets the Friday before Thanksgiving. If you ordered by then we promised to have a pie in the location close to you at that with your name on it yes and and the tree of life laying ceremony world aids day December 1 village Hillcrest the time again. It's at 6 PM and the event generally goes for an hour an hour and fifteen minutes but it it's packed we have. Affirming messages and certainly when you're starting this through the holiday. And debt ornaments candy purchased in advance at your website and our website murmurs kitchen bath or G. And social media right we are on social media give galloped into the 21 century. RI Alberto always a pleasure having on the show is pleasure seeing you. Musket and so much so much great work in our communities is greatly appreciate keep doing what you do I'm going to be my mouth I think in the next couple of days and I'll see December 1 it does the tree of life lighting ceremony having thank you thank you for your support. Thank you through the opportunity to be here to share our mission and no work its and it's greatly appreciated. That concludes another additional living veteran San Diego the opinions expressed on living veteran San Diego do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the staff and management. Of the Entercom San Diego radio stations episodes of living veteran San Diego are available on the station's website. Until next time I'm Gary Lee. Great week.