Project Angel Heart remains committed to providing healthy, nutritious meals despite rising food prices – CBS Denver


DENVER (CBS4) – As if a pandemic were not enough, the rise in the prices of groceries is hurting even more than before some non-profit organizations based on local food. Denver boss Angel Heart Project says they are now discussing changes in the way they operate due to these inflation challenges.

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“This is really becoming a problem,” said Owen Ryan, president and CEO of the nonprofit.

Project Angel Heart provides medically appropriate meals for families of approximately 4,000 Colorado residents with serious illnesses, such as cancer, heart disease, kidney disease, and more. Since the start of the pandemic, the organization has seen demand soar, Ryan said.

“A lot of our people are extremely sick, they can’t go to the grocery store, they don’t have access to food like many of us, so they needed us to bring them meals,” said Ryan.

Lately Ryan and his kitchen team have faced an even more daunting challenge.

“[In] one month we saw our costs go up by $ 22,000, ”he said.

(credit: CBS)

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, nationwide food prices rose more than 6% between November 2020 and last month. Ryan said the biggest increases were in proteins such as chicken.

“We have seen costs increase by 27% in the last three months,” he said. “If these costs continue throughout the year, we will be spending over $ 260,000 more than what is in our budget.

This means that cuts or changes are on the table, including limiting the number of people in the program.

Executive chef Brett Newman has already started making his own adjustments to save money, including making broth from scratch instead of buying it and serving smaller portions of meat.

“We’re always going to make it nutritious; we’re always going to have the veg we need, and if cutting out some protein is the solution, then that’s what we need to do, ”Newman said.

Ryan says the goal is to make cuts without compromising on quality, as many Colorado residents rely on their help every day.

(credit: CBS)

“It’s not a maybe, it’s not a if, we have to figure out how to deal with these cost increases because there are people waiting on the other end,” Ryan said.

Ryan believes the organization can weather the storm until January, but after that it will have to make bigger cuts and changes.

The nonprofit is not asking for help at this time, but anyone interested in donating or volunteering can find out more on the Angel Heart Project website.

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