Coldtainer Success Story: Project Open Hand

Posted - June 24, 2021

Project Open Hand serves the sick and vulnerable in San Francisco and Alameda counties with medically-tailored nutrition.

Founded in 1985 by retired food-service worker Ruth Brinker, Project Open Hand initially provided meals to individuals with HIV/AIDS who were experiencing malnutrition. Today, the organization has expanded its services to provide life-saving nutrition to its clients who are experiencing critical illnesses such as  cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. As a result, Project Open Hand provides over 2,500 nutritious meals and 200 bags of groceries a day to its clients.

All that food and effort would be wasted without a way to keep it fresh and safe. For this all-important task, Project Open Hand relies on Coldtainer. Offering ease-of-use, energy savings, and perfect temperature control, Coldtainer is the ideal refrigerated transportation solution for delivering ‘meals with love’ to the isolated and urban people that Project Open Hand helps. Fitting perfectly in the back of the organization’s Ford Transit delivery van, their Coldtainer unit has made it possible to reach and help even more of the vulnerable population that depends on Project Open Hand.

“For us, the convenience and versatility of the Coldtainer unit is what sets it apart,” explains Project Open Hand Director of Operations Michael McCormick. “Space, whether it be parking or storage, is at a premium in the bay area. We needed a solution that could navigate and deliver in a dense urban environment. We had to have something that could work within these limitations, and Coldtainer was the product for us.”


Having perfect temperature control during storage and delivery was paramount to Project Open Hand. Unlike most food distribution charities, each of their meals prepared by their kitchen is approved by a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and tailored to meet the medical needs of its clients.  This commitment to quality helps clients recover from illness, get stronger, and lead healthier lives. Coldtainer guarantees that each meal is delivered fresh, safe, and ready to eat.


“Coldtainer really helped us in a difficult situation with the recent pandemic,” says McCormick. “Our deliveries went up from 500/week to 800/week. We had to adapt to be able to help all the people that needed us. But it worked out wonderfully, and we could not be happier with our investment in Coldtainer.”