“State of the Kitchen” Address
Our CEO Alberto Cortés did a live update on our operations and emergency response efforts, while addressing some of the questions that were submitted ahead of time. Watch the video below.
Important information about CARES Act and Year-end Giving
With so many life changes occurring throughout 2020, we want to provide some important resources that could assist your charitable giving and tax planning this year. Regardless of where you plan to give, our team at Mama’s Kitchen always hopes to be a beneficial resource for you and your family.
When the CARES Act was passed in March, it brought increased tax benefits for charitable giving in 2020 for both individuals and corporations. Click here to view our detailed reference guide.
Benefits for Individual Donors:
Benefits for Corporate Donors:
The AGI limit for cash contributions was also increased for corporate donors. Corporations can now deduct up to 25% of taxable income (increased from 10%).
Learn more information and view our reference guide here.
Information contained herein was accurate at the time of posting. This information is not intended as legal or tax advice. For such advice, please consult an attorney or tax advisor. References to tax rates include federal taxes only and are subject to change. State law may further impact your individual results.
If you would like to discuss charitable gifts to Mama’s Kitchen, please contact Jenna Novotny at (619) 349-7322 or Jenna@mamaskitchen.org.
It gives me great pride to share an exciting announcement, and milestone, for Mama’s Kitchen during our 30th birthday celebration. We have officially expanded the scope of our organization’s mission once again to now serve individuals battling chronic kidney disease. Mama’s Kitchen’s Home-Delivered Meal Service will now provide medically tailored nutrition to individuals battling HIV, cancer, type 2 diabetes, congestive heart failure, and chronic kidney disease.
This expansion was made possible thanks to a generous $100,000 grant from the Cushman Foundation’s Making a Difference for San Diego initiative. As many as 5,000 San Diegans are experiencing stage 4 Chronic Kidney Disease, which is currently the 9th leading cause of death in the U.S. Now through this expansion, neighbors at risk of malnutrition battling this disease can be referred to our home-delivered meal program— and receive medically tailored nutrition, designed to heal, at no cost.
Why it was time to expand:
Even as demand for our current services grows, our leadership continues to evaluate and consider new populations where our nutrition services can affect long-term health. Knowing where to look next is an important balance of understanding the census of illnesses in our community, along with research on the positive impact of medical nutrition intervention.
We harness this knowledge through our decades of experience, our participation in the Food is Medicine Coalition, and our partnership with more than 228 health care professionals throughout San Diego. It is also through these local partnerships, that Mama’s kitchen works to reach our region’s most vulnerable populations.
Chronic kidney disease is complex, but research shows medically tailored nutrition can have a significant impact at slowing or even stopping its progression. Knowing this, and understanding the number of San Diego residents affected by chronic kidney disease, it became clear this expansion could have a significant impact on countless lives.
At Mama’s Kitchen we envision a community where all individuals with critical illnesses are no longer vulnerable to hunger. As we reflect on 30 years of service to the San Diego Community, we’re thankful for our supporters, Cushman Foundation, volunteers, community healthcare professionals, and staff for supporting this important work.
As I reflect on our history, I’m reminded of all the ways we’ve been helped by people like you and I am so grateful.
Chief Executive Officer
A new record number of meals
The numbers are in! June 30th marked the close of Mama’s Kitchen’s most recent fiscal year. A year that included four months of pandemic-driven demand.
Now the official numbers are in… 528,034 meals! With your help, we delivered a record-breaking 528,034 (more than HALF A MILLION!) meals this past year.
This is an incredible 30% increase from the previous 12 months, when we delivered 368,498 meals. We hope this accomplishment brings you the same pride, joy, goosebumps, and overwhelming sense of gratitude that it brings us. And while we know the demand, and pace, isn’t settling anytime soon, we wanted to take a moment to share this exciting news. Thank you to our supporters, partners, volunteers and community of advocates for making this record-breaking accomplishment possible.
$25,000 Sycuan Matching Challenge met!
We are thrilled and grateful to announce that we have met the $25,000 Sycuan Casino Resort Matching Challenge! THANK YOU to everyone who contributed towards this challenge campaign to unlock an additional $25,000, now raising more than $50,000 in support of our COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund and our recent increase in demand.
And of course, a big thank you to Sycuan Casino Resort and the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation for initiating this generous matching gift. Sycuan has been a dedicated supporter of Mama’s Kitchen for more than 20 years. After learning of the 63% increase in demand we have experienced as a result of the pandemic, Sycuan announced they would generously match dollar-for-dollar all donations towards our Emergency Response Fund, up to $25,000 from July 1 through August 31.
Thank you to everyone who contributed and spread the word to help complete this match. Mama’s Kitchen has now served 313,500 meals to more than 1,250 critically ill clients since the beginning of the pandemic, with 784 of these being NEW clients.
None of these efforts would be possible without you.
Mama’s Kitchen and other members of the Food is Medicine Coalition are proud to support the Medically Tailored Home-Delivered Meal Demonstration Pilot Act of 2020 (H.R. 6774) introduced by the members of the Bipartisan Food Is Medicine Working Group: Reps. Jim McGovern – MA (D), Chellie Pingree – ME (D), Roger
Marshall – KS (R), and Jackie Walorski – IN (R).
This bill would establish a Medicare pilot program to address the critical link between diet, chronic illness, and the health of older adults. This proposal will ensure that medically vulnerable seniors get access to lifesaving medically tailored meals in their home, while providing the outcomes data we need to build a more resilient and cost-effective health care system. Both goals are even more critical during the pandemic, as we endeavor to keep the elderly –especially those living with severe and chronic illnesses – healthy and at home. To learn more about this work and the bill, click here.
Blackbaud Data Breach
On July 31, Mama’s Kitchen notified our constituents about a recent Blackbaud Data Breach that may have affected Mama’s Kitchen’s data. For additional information please read our statement here.
On Thursday, June 18 we hosted our first-ever Virtual Volunteer Recognition to honor all of our volunteers and to award 12 who have demonstrated exceptional commitment and dedication to Mama’s Kitchen. We are grateful and humbled by each and everyone of you who selflessly give your time and energy to make sure that our neighbors who are critically ill do not go hungry. Our work is not made possible without your dedication.
LIFETIME SERVICE AWARD
EMERGENCY RESPONSE SPECIAL DISTINCTION
VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR
Stacy Berman & Kyle Icke
Linda Cory Allen
Watch the Volunteer Recognition Video Now
Mama’s Kitchen will continue to stand against all forms of social injustice.
Over the past few months, our country has experienced two crises that have left our community in fear and a state of devastation. We believe it is important to address recent social crises, which includes more than just COVID-19. We are incredibly saddened and concerned by the tragic injustice of the recent deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. Mama’s Kitchen is committed to the health of our neighbors and communities. However, a “healthy” community also means one free of discrimination and injustice. Social inequities manifest in many ways, whether in access to nutrition, healthcare, and education, or through violence and oppression. Mama’s Kitchen was founded in response to the AIDS epidemic in the early 90’s, at a time when stigma and discrimination were leaving people hungry due to lack of support. Just as our founders and community stood up for injustice 30 years ago, and every day since, we now stand with our Black community and condemn all forms of social injustice.
Mama’s Kitchen proudly serves the needs of those more vulnerable to injustice; and provides such services with compassion. For 30 years our organization has expressed, by its actions, our belief in equality, dignity, and love for all. We are as committed as ever to inclusion, justice, and affirmation. In that spirit, Mama’s Kitchen will stay true to our legacy and continue to condemn all forms of social injustice. We stand with our Black brothers and sisters.
Chief Executive Officer
Action starts with each of us. Here is a list of resources:
Today we had our very first live “State of the Kitchen” Address with our CEO, Alberto Cortés and Director of Development, Jenna Novotny, to share some of our current successes, the challenges we are preparing for, and also take 30-minutes to answer our viewer’s questions. Click below to watch a recording of it.
Update on what's happening at Mama's Kitchen as of 5/21/20
Posted by Mama's Kitchen on Thursday, May 21, 2020
Dear Friends of Mama’s Kitchen,
Since the announcement of COVID-19, Mama’s Kitchen’s board, staff, and volunteers have been working around the clock to continue providing meals to our community members who are critically ill. More than 255 new clients have joined our program since the crisis began (a 43% increase). The past six weeks have seen record-breaking numbers of meals with each delivery day. And in addition to our regular meal deliveries, we delivered more than 18,900 lbs. of nonperishable food, providing a one-week emergency supply to each client. None of these efforts would be possible without the support of our volunteers, partners and donors like you.
In early March, we announced the postponement of Mama’s Day, one of our most iconic fundraising events of the year, with the hopes of celebrating at a later date. Since 1991, Mama’s Day has been supported by dozens of San Diego’s best restaurants and chefs, attended by hundreds of local supporters, and touted as “the” foodie event of the year.
However, with the uncertainty around the pandemic and the challenges it continues to bring, we have made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s Mama’s Day event. This is one of the hardest decisions we’ve made as an organization, especially during our 30th Anniversary, but we know it’s the right one.
Mama’s Kitchen is so fortunate to have the support of the local hospitality industry, who donate much of the resources for this event. We also recognize the affect this crisis has had on these chefs, restaurants, caterers and farmers that have supported Mama’s Day for so many years.
Unfortunately, canceling Mama’s Day leaves a gap in our fundraising revenue. In celebrating our 30th Anniversary, we anticipated this year’s event to bring in close to $200,000 in support of our programs. Additionally, the growth in clients and meals being served in response to the crisis have resulted in increased operation expenses.
We are asking for your help by celebrating the spirit of Mama’s Day in a different way this year. Please join us in celebrating Mama’s Day by supporting our Emergency Response Fund, which will provide home-delivered meals to our clients in need.
How Can I Help?
Love for our Mama’s Day Partners
Celebrate From Home
We may not be able to bring you great food for Mama’s Day, but we still want to help you enjoy some. Follow us on social media for some surprise guest posts, cooking demos and easy recipes to spice up your stay-at-home Mama‘s Day celebration. Stay tuned!
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Mama’s Day will be back! Save the date for 2021 as we look forward to the best one yet. Friday, May 7th, 2021.
If you have any questions please email Silvia Dominguez at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your support and be well!
Chief Executive Officer
April 3, 2020
Dear valued supporters, volunteers and partners,
I hope this message finds you healthy and well as we navigate these challenging times. As a valued supporter of Mama’s Kitchen, I want to share with you how our organization is responding to the current COVID-19 public health crisis. During these uncertain times, our nutrition services are as crucial as ever due to the fact that all of Mama’s Kitchen’s clients suffer from critical illness, whether HIV, cancer, diabetes or heart disease, and many are over the age of 65, making them particularly vulnerable to some of the most devastating effects of COVID-19.
Mama’s Kitchen will remain operating, and our dedicated team has been working around the clock to ensure our most vulnerable community members, and their children, receive the meals and nutrition services they need to remain home and safe. While our goals remain unchanged – to deliver vital nutrition to critically ill San Diegans – we have expanded our operations and efforts to respond to the immediate needs of our clients, and significant increase in demand, while implementing new procedures to protect our clients, volunteers and staff.
1. Increased Demand – As a result of the crisis, we have experienced a significant increase in demand for our Home-Delivered Meal Service. We continue accepting new referrals for critically ill clients (and their dependent children), to ensure that our most vulnerable neighbors receive the nutrition they need, while remaining safe at home. Just this past Tuesday, March 31st, we hit a new organizational record delivering 4,500 meals to 500 clients in one day, through a new “no contact” delivery process; and we expect to hit another new record with tomorrow’s delivery going to more than 546 clients. This is already a 25% increase from just a few weeks ago, and we project our numbers of clients and meals served to increase by at least 35% over the next two months due to the crisis.
2. Pantry service – On Friday, March 20th, we temporarily closed our on-site Pantry, which provides no-cost groceries for low-income HIV+ individuals who are healthy enough to shop and cook but are unable to purchase nutritious food due to extremely low income. To protect the health of our Mama’s Pantry clients, we are allowing them to temporarily enroll in our Home-Delivered Meal Service so they can receive the nutrition they need, without leaving home.
3. Emergency Food Bags – We have purchased additional supplies to provide a one-week supply of shelf-stable food to all 550 clients and dependent children, in addition to our regular meal deliveries. By delivering a week’s worth of shelf-stable food, we guarantee that our clients have the food they need in the event that we are forced to pause or slow operations. We also hope that this will bring clients peace of mind during a time of heightened anxiety. This service, as with all our services, is provided at no charge to clients.
4. County Emergency Response Plan – As we have done during past public health emergencies, our team is currently collaborating with the County of San Diego as part of their emergency response plan. The County has called on us to provide our expertise and resources to assist those most at risk of hunger during the crisis.
5. Volunteers and Staffing – While volunteers perform many of our critical tasks, we have shifted to operating with exceptionally few volunteers and increased staff hours. This is a result of both proactively restricting the number of people in our Kitchen, while also having less volunteers available. The majority of our volunteers are over 65 and therefore, we have advised them to stay home for their safety. While we are actively recruiting temporary volunteers, our staff and a small group of volunteers have been working around the clock to ensure every meal is delivered.
Mama’s Kitchen will continue to respond to the COVID-19 crisis and meet the needs of our critically ill community members. Thank you for your support and for making these efforts possible. We couldn’t do this work without you. I look forward to keeping you informed of our work throughout these extraordinary circumstances. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any additional questions about our efforts, I would be happy to share photos and testimonials as well.
Thank you again for your support. Please stay healthy and safe.
Chief Executive Officer
March 20, 2020
Dear supporters, volunteers, and friends of Mama’s Kitchen,
I want to provide an update on our work in light of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recent announcement implementing a “shelter in place” order for California, beginning Thursday, March 19.
Mama’s Kitchen is recognized as an “essential business” and is part of the County’s emergency response efforts. With this designation, we can, and will, continue to operate and deliver meals with additional safety procedures. This designation also allows volunteers to continue working with us during this time.
Delivering Mama’s Kitchen’s mission is critical now more than ever. Our dedicated team will be working around the clock to ensure our most vulnerable community members receive the meals and nutrition services they need to remain home and safe.
We will be operating with exceptionally lean volunteers to achieve our mission, while doing our part to ensure safety and minimize the impact of the COVID-19 crisis. Additional information about volunteering is available here. Effective immediately, our on-site Pantry (available for low-income HIV+ individuals) will be closed, and pantry clients will be offered to temporarily enroll in our Home Delivered Meal Service program to provide for their safety and well-being.
Please know we could not do this without you. We are so grateful for the support of our community. If you are able to support our emergency response efforts with a gift of any amount, it makes an incredible difference towards our increased expenses.
Thank you for your support and being part of our family. Please stay safe and healthy.
Chief Executive Officer
March 13, 2020
Mama’s Kitchen’s Call to Action in Response to COVID-19
Mama’s Kitchen remains open during the COVID-19 crisis, and our services are as critical as ever during this public health emergency. Therefore, we are seeking help from the community. We have an emergent need for volunteers and support as we increase our stock of supplies and continue to accept new critically ill clients at risk.
If you are healthy, not on the list of vulnerable populations, and able to volunteer we need you! If you can support our increased expense for healthy shelf stable food, we appreciate a gift in any amount.
We are currently increasing our inventory of shelf stable food to maintain two weeks of back up for all clients. We have also implemented additional safety procedures following public health department recommendations and working with the County of San Diego to ensure the well-being of our clients, volunteers, and staff.
It is imperative that our clients continue to get home-delivered nutrition. Please consider supporting this critical work.
A Message from our CEO
March 20, 2020
Dear Supporters, volunteers, and friends of Mama’s Kitchen,
I want to provide an update on our work in light of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recent…
A Message from our CEO
March 13, 2020
Dear Supporters, volunteers, and friends of Mama’s Kitchen,
First of all, I want to thank you for your dedication and support of our mission. We know COVID-19 is…
Our commitment during COVID-19
March 11, 2020
Mama’s Kitchen is closely…
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3960 Home Avenue
San Diego, CA 92105
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Funded in part by the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) through the County of San Diego Health & Services Administration (HRSA)