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Mama’s Kitchen Delivers 8 Millionth Meal In San Diego County

Reported by Katie Schoolov

Mama’s Kitchen has been delivering meals for 25 years to San Diegans too sick to cook on their own. Volunteers bring them food seven days a week, free of charge. Wednesday was no different — except for the number: 8 million.

Ron Roberts, chairman of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, and Mama's Kitchen Executive Director Alberto Cortes delivered the organization's 8 millionth meal to the home of Allen Kohler and his partner, Dave Jones, who are both HIV positive.

Kohler hasn't been able to cook for himself since he was diagnosed in 1981. Mama's Kitchen started delivering meals to them more than 10 years ago.

"I don’t know if I’d still be here, personally," Kohler said. "It just takes a lot of energy to put food together to eat. So for me personally, I just feel if Mama’s Kitchen wasn’t here, I wouldn’t eat a lot of the time."

Photo by Katie Schoolov

San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts, South Park residents Dave Jones and Allen Kohler, and Mama's Kitchen Executive Director Alberto Cortes pose for a photo, March 30, 2016 in South Park.

The meal handed to him on his doorstep Wednesday afternoon included fruits, vegetables, milk, yogurt, eggs and lasagna.

The food is packaged and delivered almost entirely by volunteers. Cortes said they have made a huge impact since Mama's Kitchen opened 25 years ago.

"In those years, we have probably traveled somewhere close to 3 million miles to deliver food, and have made a difference in the lives of tens of thousands of individuals who may otherwise have suffered from malnutrition," Cortes said.

Last year, Mama's Kitchen volunteers delivered almost 285,000 meals to 394 San Diegans living with HIV/AIDS and more than 70,000 to those with cancer.

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