The Catholic University of America



Professor Faith Mullen (white shirt) was among the legal clinic's
faculty members to join students in a full day of service to others.

Clinic Students Help Prepare Delivered Meals to People with Serious Illness


Not every volunteer effort requires a hairnet, but law students from Catholic University’s legal clinic, Columbus Community Legal Services, had no complaints about slipping them on for a few hours in service of a worthy cause.
A couple of dozen students and faculty members from the law school’s General Practice and Families and the Law Clinic spent several hours on Aug. 26 working at Food & Friends, a non-profit based in northeast Washington, D.C., that delivers free meals to people who are homebound because of life-challenging illnesses such as HIV/AIDS and cancer .
Some of the CUA Law volunteers rode with the delivery trucks, visiting homes to drop off meals in the District, Virginia and Maryland.  Others chose to help in the large kitchen, bagging, chopping, sorting and otherwise helping to prepare the nutritionally-balanced food.  
The organization currently serves 1,500 people, delivering more than 3,100 meals daily. Its annual budget of nearly $8 million comes from individuals, corporations, foundations and other sources.  Food & Friends expects to serve in excess of a million meals in 2010.
Food & Friends depends heavily on volunteer effort. It offers 11 special diets to meet clients’ nutritional needs. Vegetarian, mild and soft are just a few options that are available.
The service has no requirements for income or insurance coverage, although three-quarters of its clients live below the poverty line. To be eligible, a person must have a qualifying primary illness; compromised nutritional status and a limited ability to prepare his or her own meals due to factors such as disability, illness, or medical treatment. 
Students enrolled with the law school’s third sub-clinic, Advocacy for the Elderly, were also invited to participate in the volunteerism but most were unable to make it for scheduling reasons.