Today- Thursday, Dec. 1 - is World AIDS Day.
It will be a busy day for Moveable Feast. Twenty-seven volunteers from MAC Cosmetics will be here to work in the kitchen, while other staff and volunteers will join in the festivities of BMORE AWARE: The Living Red Ribbon at Coppin State.
This is the 30th anniversary of the identification of HIV in the US.
Some of you may recall that early on in this epidemic, HIV was a death sentence for those infected. Having AIDS often meant not only sickness but also isolation and rejection. Friends were getting sick and dying. Fortunately, friends were also helping each other. In fact, the founder of Moveable Feast, Bob Mehl, an employee of the Baltimore City Health Department, was a staunch advocate for his friends and the community around him whom he saw dying from AIDS. That’s how Moveable Feast got started. Bob insisted that the City do something to help people living with AIDS. Bob fought tirelessly to secure funding from Mayor Kurt Schmoke and was asked by Mayor Schmoke to head a group to address this issue. The core idea of Moveable Feast was born: provide nutritious meals to people living with HIV/AIDS free-of-charge and, just as importantly, deliver those meals with care and compassion. Unfortunately, Bob himself succumbed to AIDS before Moveable Feast ever served its first meals, but the seeds of compassion were sown for decades to come.
For more than 22 years, Moveable Feast has focused its mission on serving people who have been ostracized from their families, ridiculed by their communities, demoralized by poverty, and feared by the ignorance, prejudice and self-righteousness that often plagues even the most well-intentioned people. Ours has been a mission that nourishes the body, soul and spirit, without regard for color, race, creed, origin or sexual identification.
Indeed, we are an example of a “feast to which all are welcome.”
World AIDS Day is a day to remember those who have died from AIDS and to remember the nearly 1 million people in the US who live courageously with HIV. We also celebrate those heroes, past and present, who have contributed to the health and wellness of people with HIV. It’s a day to educate and “b’more aware” of our focus to reduce the number of new HIV infections and to ensure treatment for those who are infected. Consequently, it’s also a day to remember that many people with HIV continue to live in some form of isolation: fearful of the rejection, ridicule and prejudice that surround this disease.
Thank you for the difference you make each day to advance the mission of Moveable Feast. I take tremendous pride in our staff, board, donors and volunteers who demonstrate a deep and genuine concern for the health and welfare of all our clients, but especially in those who live with HIV/AIDS. In whatever capacity you contribute to Moveable Feast, it is only by working together that we impact the health and wellness of those who are sick and poor, thus strengthening our entire community.
Together let us be diligent in our efforts to FEED people, FIGHT disease and FOSTER hope!