Atlanta Journal-Constitution (12.08.11) - Thursday, December
On Dec. 7, Atlanta-based Open Hand served its 20 millionth
meal. The nonprofit was founded in 1988 by Michael Edwards-
Pruitt, who wanted to make sure the 14 AIDS patients he was
assisting were getting healthy meals. It evolved into an
organization modeled after a similar one in San Francisco.
Today, Open Hand delivers more than 5,000 meals a day to metro
Atlanta residents living with various chronic illnesses, most
of whom are referred by doctors or home-care nurses, said
Executive Director Stephen Woods. In the early days of the
AIDS epidemic, pervasive bias against those with HIV left many
patients alone with no one to help them, he said. "We ended up
caring for people who were not only desperately ill but very
much alone, which is the case we find with many seniors today
for one reason or another," said Woods.