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Mama's Kitchen launches public phase of capital campaign

SAN DIEGO -- Mama’s Kitchen, a meal delivery service for people living in San Diego County who are affected by AIDS or cancer, will host a Capital Campaign Celebration on Thursday, June 20 from 4-7 pm at their headquarters located at 3960 Home Ave. in the Fairmount Park neighborhood of San Diego.

The objective of the event is to show the community the progress the organization has made since it’s move into the 11,000 square-foot building in August 2011, as well as to encourage the public to help them complete the first phase of their capital campaign.

As of May 14, 2013, Mama’s Kitchen has achieved 58% of its goal, raising $1.5 million of $2.6 million to pay for the purchase and renovation of the building, which has given the organization a permanent location and increased the organization’s capacity to serve more people and provide more in-house prepared foods. Once the first phase is complete, funds will be raised to replenish the organization’s reserves and set up an endowment fund.

The board and staff at Mama’s Kitchen fulfill a great need to provide and deliver nutritional services to critically ill San Diegans who are battling HIV/AIDS and cancer. Currently, there are more than 14,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in San Diego County. Each year, county officials estimate more than 12,500 cases of cancer are diagnosed in San Diego County, and it is anticipated this number will increase in the coming years.

Since the move to the Home Avenue location nearly two years ago, the organization has been able to meet the demand for increased service requests. In 2012, the organization delivered their six millionth meal. For the last two years, the average number of HIV/AIDS clients receiving hot meal delivery increased by 10%. The average number of cancer clients receiving hot meal service increased by 26%.

The agency also reports a record number of visits and clients to the organization’s Mama’s Pantry, a service of Mama’s Kitchen that provides a nutritional shopping opportunity at no cost for client with HIV/AIDS who can benefit from occasional nutritional support to maintain their health and stretch their food budget.

“The move to our new home represented our commitment to sustain and grow our mission so we can serve many thousands of people who are in desperate need of nutrition to fight their critical illness,” said Alberto Cortés, executive director, Mama’s Kitchen.

“It was a strategic decision to invest in a permanent home for the long-term health of the organization. When we complete the first phase of the capital goal raising $2.6 million, it will free up resources for future programs and daily operation, as well as ensuring Mama’s Kitchen remains part of the San Diego community for decades to come.”

The nutrition services Mama’s Kitchen provides removes food insecurity for men, women and children when they are at their most vulnerable, so they can focus on adhering to their AIDS or cancer treatments.

“Nutrition is a fundamental need for all people, however when you are battling a critical illness, food plays a complementary role in medical treatment,” Cortés said. “Receiving a hot meal each day, or shopping at our pantry reduces stress, saves money and improves the health of our clients.”

Admission is free and open to the public. The event includes tours, entertainment and refreshments. RSVP is encouraged via email rsvp@mamaskitchen.org or call (619) 233-6262 ext. 120.

To get involved or to learn more about the Mama’s Kitchen Capital Campaign, the public is encouraged to contact Gigi Cantin at Mama’s Kitchen at 619-233-6262. Donations can also be made on the website HERE.

About Mama’s Kitchen

Mama’s Kitchen was founded in 1990 when volunteers from the AIDS Assistance Fund realized a reliable home meal delivery service was needed to ensure their clients received nutritious, life-sustaining food. In 2004, Mama’s Pantry was opened to provide individuals with HIV/AIDS who are able to prepare meals the opportunity to supplement their nutritional needs. In 2012, Mama’s Pantry served 774 individuals. Mama’s Kitchen has served more six million meals since it was founded and has never turned away a client who qualified for services. Our commitment to our clients remains unchanged. Today, the organization has expanded its service to San Diegans affected by either AIDS or cancer. Mama’s Kitchen provides three meals a day, for every day of the year, free of charge, to more than 625 men, women and children in San Diego County.