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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
GEORGIA: Charity Dishes Up 20 Millionth Meal
Steve Visser
December 15, 2011
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.