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God’s Love We Deliver: Free Μedically Τailored Μeals for People Unable to Cook

Up the street, the local minister took notice and called it “God’s love”: a woman delivering a nutritious, warm meal to a hospice patient who was unable to cook for himself as a result of his serious illness.

The phrase resonated with her—she considered the food to be medicine, dignity, love. And God’s Love We Deliver (GLWD) was born.

That was thirty-five years ago. To this day, God’s Love We Deliver remains New York City’s only organization serving those who are too sick to provide or prepare a meal for themselves. The non-sectarian organization delivers medically tailored meals that take into account clients’ individual health needs. And it has followed the same basic recipe since the beginning.

Nutritionists and chefs jointly develop delicious meals with high-quality ingredients; staff and volunteers get the meals to clients quickly (there is never a waitlist) and at no charge. Meals include dessert (like Chuck’s famous brownies, one of NYC’s best-kept secrets!) and birthday cake for clients on their special day. Joy and celebration are a part of the work, right alongside nutrition and health.

The evidence is clear. This simple intervention makes a difference—people are healthier, less isolated, and get more out of their medical care. They can be stable at home, and not repeatedly in the hospital. Hospitals and health plans are now partnering with GLWD to care for their patients.

GLWD mobilized a swift response to the pandemic, taking into account the new demands of the situation and the wellbeing of clients, staff, and volunteers. Building on previous grants to GLWD, SNF provided support to the organization as part of its global COVID-19 relief initiative.

While GLWD prides itself on providing service immediately, it is also working to make change in the longer term. It is spearheading the Food is Medicine coalition, a network of peer organizations across the country working to ensure that high-quality medically tailored nutrition is part of the continuum of healthcare, accessible for all who need it.

At God’s Love We Deliver, love looks like a long haul commitment to better health outcomes—and tastes like Chuck’s delicious brownies.

Roula Siklas,
SNF Senior Program Officer