Over 3,000 pies were sold at Mama’s Kitchen 17th annual Mama’s Pies Thanksgiving Bake Sale aimed to fund free medically tailored meals to critically ill San Diegans county wide.  

Local bakers, restaurants and caterers donated pumpkin, pecan, apple and dutch apple Thanksgiving pies to the fundraiser. The nonprofit raised $120,000 through its bake sale. Each $30 pie funds approximately 12 meals. 

A group of four anonymous community members placed a $20,000 match to the fundraiser. A donation of $30, once matched, will provide 24 meals to critically ill individuals in need this holiday season.

Mama’s Kitchen delivers three meals a day tailored by certified dietitians on staff, seven days a week and free of charge with partnerships with over 300 medical providers in Chula Vista. Over the course of 31 years, Mama’s Kitchen served over 10 million meals for individuals and families experiencing HIV/AIDS, cancer, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, chronic kidney disease. 

Mama’s Kitchen is currently home-delivering more than 12,000 meals a week, all throughout San Diego County. Over the course of the pandemic, the nonprofit saw nearly a 50 percent increase in demand according to Jenna Novotny, Developer of Development for Mamas Kitchen.

“I know everyone feels like it’s great that we can finally see each other for thanksgiving but we are still very heavily seeing the impacts of the pandemic. We don't expect our numbers to go back  down,” Novotny said. 

In 2020, the organization delivered 600,000 meals to people in need of support. Prior to the pandemic, the nonprofit served approximately 430 clients per delivery day. That number jumped to approximately 712 at the peak of the pandemic. The non-profit currently serves approximately 600 clients per delivery day. 

“Oftentimes clients going through medical illnesses will need to take a leave of absence from work. That means less income for the family, and they will have to choose between putting food on the table, their medication or rent. All services are completely free to our clients so they don't have to make that difficult choice,” Novotny said. 

Since the pandemic began, the nonprofit brought over 1,400 new critically ill clients, and delivered more than 1,200,000 meals. Mama’s Kitchen will continue to provide emergency response efforts, home-delivered meals and nutrition education services in San Diego county.

“We will continue to see the impact of people who couldn't go to the doctor or felt fearful in leaving their home.There could be additional complications that individuals with critical illness will see for the next couple of years,” Novotny said. 

Novotny said the organization is heavily volunteer based. Individuals who wish to volunteer may view Mama's Kitchen volunteer opportunities  page for further information.

Although online pie sales are now closed, there are still many ways the public may contribute. For more information on how to donate, visit mamaspies.org or call 619-233-MAMA (6262).

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