Give!: Project Angel Heart delivers life-saving meals

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Project Angel Heart provides healthy meals, at no cost, to those who are unable to feed themselves.

Clients are typically those suffering from life-threatening illnesses or mobility issues that keep them from being able to get to the store or prepare food.

Most clients are referred to the organization through a medical professional but what makes Project Angel Heart different is that they don’t care about age or income.

“Many of the meal services that are available are for people 60 and over, and almost half of our clients are under the age of 60,” said Sally Rothstein, Colorado Springs Regional Manager of Project Angel Heart.

Terri Figueredo was once a client of Project Angel Heart and she believes it saved her life.

“It’s amazing what food will do,” said Figueredo. “I had a terminal lung disease called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and it hit me hard and it hit me quickly. In a period of 8 months I went from hiking everyday to sucking down oxygen on my couch and not being able to do anything.”

Figueredo said she didn’t want to eat and didn’t have the strength to go grocery shopping. She started losing weight and soon she was at risk of not being able to receive a lung transplant.

“I was told you can not lose any more weight and I was a bag of bones,” Figueredo said.

That’s when her respiratory therapist referred her to Project Angel Heart.

“Here at Project Angel Heart we really believe food is medicine and we’ve been practicing that for 25 years now,” said Rothstein.

Between Denver and Colorado Springs, Rothstein said Project Angel Heart delivers between 6,000 and 7,000 meals a week.

“Each bag goes to a specific person that is a Project Angel Heart client and the meal is tailored to the needs, to the medical needs of that person,” said Rothstein. “The meals are healthy, they’re nutritious.”

According to Figueredo, they’re delicious too.

“Very delicious, and really good cookies,” she laughed.

Thanks to Project Angel Heart, Figueredo was able to maintain her weight and get a transplant. A set of new lungs later, Figueredo is now giving back, volunteering for an organization she knows makes a difference.

“They literally helped save my life, so that’s a beautiful thing,” said Figueredo.

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