Updated: Mar 9
Lisa McNaney, executive director of Culinary Angels, addressed PNR via Zoom March 4th on how the non-profit organization prepares and delivers organic meals for Tri-Valley cancer patients.
Founded by McNaney in 2016, Culinary Angels relies largely on volunteers for about 370 meals prepared every week for cancer patients, their caregivers and in a few instances their entire families in Danville, Dublin, Livermore, Pleasanton, and San Ramon.
The charity’s mission and philosophy were drawn from McNaney’s experiences as a cancer survivor and her belief that properly prepared organic foods fortify a person’s body, especially during a difficult health challenge.
“I saw an opportunity to not only provide people with organic meals when they are dealing with cancer, but also as a form of empowerment with nutritional opportunities,” she said.
About 135 volunteers, include Yvonne Greenlee, wife of PNR member Kevin Greenlee, help McNaney realize this vision with the help of a holistic, culinary chief and an emphasis on organic foods and largely vegetarian diets. Several PNR members expressed interest in volunteering after the meeting.
Volunteers distribute two sets of free meals in a biweekly cycle, alternating between recipients in Livermore and the other four communities. Designated shoppers patronize selected grocery stores, farmer’s markets, and organic vegetable gardens. Meals are prepared in the commercial kitchen at the Sunflower Hill-Irbe Ranch Community, another recipient of PNR Foundation.
Culinary Angels was awarded a $1000 PNR Foundation grant recently to purchase a computer printer, pressure cooker and other kitchen equipment and supplies, but several PNR members interceded to acquire the equipment for the charity themselves, which preserved the grant funds for other purposes.
In addition, Culinary Angels launched a “produce” donation drive in February at the Pleasanton Farmer’s Market. Delivery bags will be installed in the booths of collaborating vendors to collect donated food that will be used in the charity’s next planned meal, McNaney said.