Representatives of non-sectarian organization God's Love We Deliver, the leading provider of life-sustaining meals and nutritional counseling for people living with severe illnesses in metropolitan New York, will visit the Nasdaq MarketSite in Times Square on Wednesday (Dec. 30). Karen Pearl, president and CEO of the organization will ring Nasdaq's closing bell between 3:45 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET.
Begun as an HIV/AIDS service organization, God's Love currently provides for people living with more than 200 individual diagnoses. During this year, the God's Love team will have cooked and delivered more than 1.4 million meals to 6,000 vulnerable New Yorkers.
The organization's 8,000 volunteers prepare and home-deliver specific, nutritious meals customized to clients' severe illnesses and treatments. Meals are individually tailored for each client by one of organization's registered dietitian nutritionists, and all clients have access to unlimited nutrition counseling.
God's Love also supports families by providing meals for the children and senior caregivers of its clients.
All of the agency's services are provided free of charge. It was co-founded by Ganga Stone and Jane Best in 1986. In its 30-year history of cooking and delivering more than 16 million meals, God's Love We Deliver has never had a waiting list, according to its website.
As a hospice volunteer, Stone in 1985 visited an AIDS patient who was too ill to cook for himself. Ganga's compassion took hold, a meal was prepared and delivered on the next visit, and an epiphany was born: Something as basic as delivering a meal could bring dignity and recognition to a desperate situation. She researched his needs and was on her way again, with a new meal in hand, when she was stopped by a minister in the neighborhood who recognized her. He asked what she was doing, she told him, and he replied, "you're not just delivering food ... you're delivering God's love."
Ganga said, "That's the name."
During 2015, God's Love staffers completed the move to the organization's new home in The Michael-Kors Building in SoHo. It contains a new, state-of-the-art, 9,600 square-foot kitchen on the second floor and includes four industrial-size refrigerators, three freezers, five blast freezers, five 80-gallon soup kettles and a waste digester that converts up to 1,000 pounds of organic food waste into the disposable water.
During this Christmas Eve, more than 1,000 of the group's volunteers prepared and delivered 4,500 special holiday meals. Of the 4,500 meals, 1,600 were guest meals, so that each client could invite a friend or family member to spend the holiday with them. The meals were delivered in a cheerful, hand-decorated bag designed by local school children.
Each household also received on Dec. 24 an emergency winter meal kit, full of foods to tide recipients over in the event of a weather-related emergency as well as holiday gifts to make the season special.
Anna Wyche on Facebook thanked the organization for the food and gift. "If it wasn't for you guys, I won't have any food or medicine. God bless you all for helping me."
"May God continue to bless you wonderful men and women, bringing love and food to those in need, a labor of love, no doubt about it," wrote Carmen Arelis Troncoso.