The Food Bank Story

Pasadena resident, Tony Collier, founded Los Angeles Regional Food Bank in 1973 at the Grandview Foundation.

Collier, a cook with a charitable organization, received more food donations from local businesses than he anticipated and shared them with other organizations feeding the hungry. Four members of the community impressed with Collier's work formed a voluntary Board of Directors to create the Food Bank.

From its beginning in a two-car garage, the Food Bank moved into a converted 2,600 square foot dry cleaning facility on Fair Oaks Avenue in Pasadena. In 1983,  it moved to a 10,000 square foot warehouse in El Monte.

To reflect its service to all areas of Los Angeles County, the organization changed its name to Los Angeles Regional Food Bank in 1986. In 1989, Los Angeles Regional Food Bank moved to its present location: a 96,000 square foot facility specifically designed as a food bank.

The Food Bank Today

The year 2012 marks the Food Bank's 39th year of service to the residents of Los Angeles County. Over the years, the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank has grown in size, service and scope. Today the Food Bank provides food for 640 partner agencies with over 1,000 sites including abused and abandoned children homes, battered women shelters, senior centers, local food pantries, soup kitchens, AIDS hospices and more. In 2011, our volunteers, financial supporters, product donors and agency network made it possible for us to distribute 60 million pounds of food for the hungry in Los Angeles county.
 

Operations

From Warehouse to Table

Food is donated to Los Angeles Regional Food Bank from local and national food manufacturers, wholesalers, supermarkets, restaurant suppliers, packers, processors and brokers. Once a shipment of food is received at our warehouse, it is sorted, inspected, and if necessary, repacked for distribution to participating charities in Los Angeles County.

We sort, inspect, repackage and distribute thousands of pounds of food each day with the help of dedicated volunteers.  Last year, over 31,000 volunteers donated their time to the Food Bank.

Charities order and pick up the products they need from the Food Bank on a weekly basis. They then serve the food to needy families, children and individuals free of charge. Through these charities, over 1 million people receive healthy meals each year.
 

Food Bank Milestones

1973 Tony Collier, a cook at the Grandview Foundation in Pasadena, begins collecting and distributing food. Collier receives more food donations from local businesses than anticipated and he shares the food with other organizations helping the hungry.  Collier begins the first search for a larger facility by moving the small operation into a two-car garage.
   
1977 A group of local residents, impressed by Collier’s work, forms the first Board of Directors and incorporates the Food Bank as a separate nonprofit corporation, named Community Food Resources, Inc. The operation moves into a 2,600 sq. ft.facility in Pasadena.
   
1983 Doris Bloch heads the Food Bank after its move to a 10,000 sq. ft. warehouse in El Monte. The Food Bank, distributing 3 million pounds of food annually begins to rapidly expand food collection efforts and program development. The Brown Bag Program and Emergency Food Assistance Program are launched and the Food Bank affiliates with America’s Second Harvest.
   
1989 The newly named Los Angeles Regional Food Bank launches a capital campaign to build a 55,000 sq.ft. distribution center at 1734 E. 41st Street in Los Angeles. The Food Bank distributes 18 million pounds and significantly expands local food solicitation efforts.
   
1994 The Food Bank responds to the second major disaster in three years, the Northridge earthquake, by keeping food flowing to charities serving people in need. Total food distribution increases to 22 million pounds.
   
2000 The Food Bank launches its second Capital Campaign to purchase and retrofit two adjacent buildings at 1701 & 1727 E 41st Place.  The new buildings add 41,000 sq. ft. of space and allow for the Food Rescue Program to move on-site.  Total food distribution increases to 32 million pounds as Michael Flood becomes the new Food Bank President.
   
2005 The Food Bank launches several new programs including the Kids Café PowerPack and Summer Meal Program, the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, the Agency Delivery Program, and the Rapid Food Distribution Program which significantly increases the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables distributed. In addition, the Food Bank continues to publish hunger reports to educate the public on the extent of local hunger.
   
2006 The BackPack Program is launched to provide school-age kids with a backpack full of food for the weekend.  The Tony Collier Legacy Society is established and recognizes donors who have made legacy gifts to the Food Bank.

CanstructionLA - The inaugural Los Angeles Canstruction event is hosted by Westfield Fashion Square.  www.canstructionla.com
     
2011 The Food Bank distributes 60 million pounds of food including 14 million pounds of produce to over 1 million individuals throughout Los Angeles County.  Volunteer support reaches an all-time high, with more than 31,000 volunteers.  

 

The mission of the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank is to mobilize resources to fight hunger in our community.