DENVER — If food is medicine, then Steve Bailey is dishing out some of the most important treatment around.
He is one of the main ingredients at Project Angel Heart. Three days a week, he helps prepare and deliver medically tailored meals for people in the community with life-threatening illnesses.
Mark Smith, volunteer resources manager for Project Angel Heart, called Bailey amazing.
"I’d say he’s magic — he’s magic to us," he said.
Bailey said all the food they make is delivered to people who need it.
"They’re all so grateful and friendly and they love to see you and the bags," he said.
The organization started in 1991 when the group's founder, Charles Robbins, noticed that his friends who were living with HIV and AIDS were wasting away before his eyes.
From there, he expanded his efforts out beyond just his friends. It started with 12 clients. Today, he serves about 1,200 every week.
"We’ve done a lot of research and have found out, for us, nutrition is the most critical part of someone’s health, right?" Smith said. "Food is medicine to us."
Bailey said they're not only showing up with food, but they bring some emotional support as well.
And if anyone knows how important that is, it's Bailey himself.
"I became a Project Angel Heart client for several months and people here were so glad to take care of me and it was something that I needed for a short while," he said. "I was so happy to have the help because I needed it and I knew it was coming from people who cared about me."
These custom-made meals are served with a side of compassion, nourishing the body and filling the soul.
"Food is maybe the most important thing we do as a culture to help other people — it’s just very gratifying to do," Bailey said.
Molly Hendrickson anchors Denver7 in the mornings from 4:30-7 a.m. She also features a different 7Everyday Hero each week on Denver7. Follow Molly on Facebook here and Twitter here. To nominate a hero in your life, click here.