Sunflower Hill and Culinary Angels Expand Partnership

December 11, 2020

Culinary Angels Head Chef and volunteers will create meals for Culinary Angels recipients going through a serious health challenge and for Sunflower Hill at Irby Ranch residents

Sunflower Hill and Culinary Angels jointly announced today that they have expanded their partnership to utilize the commercial kitchen at Sunflower Hill at Irby Ranch to provide meals to Irby Ranch residents and Culinary Angels recipients. Prior to this announcement and for the past three years, Sunflower Hill has donated organic produce from the Sunflower Hill Garden to Culinary Angels for their meals.

Working in the new commercial kitchen at Irby Ranch, Culinary Angels Head Chef, Claudia Castillo Holley and volunteers will use organic produce donated from the Sunflower Hill Garden and Fertile Groundworks to create and prepare bi-monthly meals for its recipients. In addition, Chef Claudia will design and prepare nutritious and healthy meals for residents at Irby Ranch who choose to opt in to the meal plan offered five nights a week.

Sunflower Hill at Irby Ranch is a 31-unit affordable apartment complex providing independent living apartment homes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The community, which was developed in partnership with SAHA, was completed in September 2020. Sunflower Hill at Irby Ranch is the first independent, affordable residential community for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the Tri-Valley, California.

Since its inception in 2016, Culinary Angels has received incredibly generous support from the First Presbyterian Church in Livermore. In addition to providing an industrial kitchen for meal preparation, the church lent much needed administrative support that greatly contributed to the organization’s success and growth.

“Culinary Angels is ever grateful to the First Presbyterian Church for supporting our fledgling organization,” said Lisa McNaney, Founder and Executive Director of Culinary Angels. “We really could not have come this far without them! This move will allow Culinary Angels to serve more of those who are going through a serious health challenge throughout the Tri-Valley, while introducing our healthy and delicious menu to the residents at Irby Ranch.”

“We are excited to further our collaboration with Culinary Angels from donating produce to support their recipients, to partnering together so that they can utilize the new commercial kitchen at Irby Ranch,” said Edie Nehls, Sunflower Hill Executive Director. “We are thrilled that they, in collaboration with Chef Claudia, the Sunflower Hill Kitchen Manager, will be creating nutritious and delicious meals for residents who choose to opt in to the meal plan. We can’t wait to see what Chef Claudia cooks up!”

Lisa McNaney, herself a cancer survivor and also the mother of a young cancer survivor, founded Culinary Angels in 2016. The organization was awarded nonprofit 501(c)3 status in 2019. Both Fertile Groundworks and Sunflower Hill donate the majority of the produce used in Culinary Angels’ meals, which use only organic and locally cultivated vegetables and fruits. Maintaining good nutrition during chemotherapy and other cancer and medical treatments is critical to maintain strength, energy, and a healthy body weight. Between 2017 and the present, Culinary Angels prepared and delivered more than 5,000 meals free of charge to local residents, and the need is growing as more people are diagnosed and learn of their services. Some 45 volunteers assemble to prep, cook, and package meals, all of which are required to pass a state accredited course on food handling and safety. To learn more about Culinary Angels, please visit