Sources of Product

  • Food Industry Donations include Local Product Donations, Fresh Produce Donations, America’s Second Harvest Donations, Salvage from Retailers, Extra Helpings Donations, Other Food Banks and Food Drives
  • USDA Commodities for the Emergency Food Assistance Program (EFAP) and the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)
  • Purchased Food includes Shop Smart & Save, FEMA/Emergency Food & Shelter Program, Kids PowerPack, BackPack and Summer Meals, and Purchases for Other Programs

Distribution of Product and Food Bank Programs


General Distribution of Product to Agencies
The general distribution of donated food and product and purchased food to charitable agency sites located throughout Los Angeles County. In 2005, the Food Bank launched the Agency Delivery Program to provide better access for agencies located in the Antelope and San Fernando Valley.
  • Total number of Agency Sites: 1,000+
  • Number of unduplicated people served annually by food pantries and soup kitchens: 1 million people 
Emergency Food Assistance Program (EFAP) Household Distribution
This program provides agencies, primarily food pantries, with United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) commodities at no cost. Organizations (primarily food pantries) that provide food baskets to low-income individuals are eligible to receive USDA commodities. Each participating agency must submit monthly participation reports. The EFAP program is open to all low income clients. Soup kitchens and other hot meal programs open to the public are also eligible to receive USDA commodities through EFAP.
Rapid Food Distribution  
This new program allows a “just-in-time” delivery of fresh produce and other perishable foods to agencies before their distribution.  Given hat many agencies have very limited refrigeration, this allows nutritious food to get to recipients at agency sites, primarily food pantries.
Extra Helpings
This program helps our agencies obtain prepared, perishable food and other product primarily for meal programs. The Food Bank’s staff pairs restaurants, hotels, caterers and other donors who have extra food or product with nearby agencies who collect the food and use it to feed their clients. For information on how to donate food through this program, please contact the Food Bank's Product Donations Department.


Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)  

The CSFP program is targeted for seniors 60 years and older, pregnant women, mothers postpartum for up to one year and children ages one to six. Each client must meet age and/or income qualifications required by the USDA. Qualified clients will receive one of six age prescribed food kits on a monthly basis. About 20,000 people, primarily seniors are served at CSFP distribution sites throughout LA County.

HEAL Program

The HEAL program was implemented in 2012 and targets low-income seniors 60 years and older.  Recipients of this program receive up to 10 lbs. of shelf staple items as well as 5 lbs. of fresh produce each month.  About 12,800 seniors each month are served through this program. 

Brown Bag Program  

This program is a unique solution for alleviating hunger among the elderly. Each week, the Food Bank sets aside nutritious items from its inventory. Volunteers, many of who are seniors themselves, arrive early every Friday morning to pick up the food and take it to 14 Brown Bag sites where they pack the food in grocery bags for distribution to low-income seniors; the disabled and infirm receive their bags at home.




Kids Cafe™ “Power Pack” Snack Program and Summer Food Service Program  
This program addresses the needs for proper nutrition and quality day and after school care in low-income communities. Healthy meals and snacks are served to needy children in a safe, nurturing environment. Children in Kids Cafe™ often receive tutoring assistance, participate in sports, and benefit from mentoring. Through our Kids Cafe sites, the Food Bank provides Power Packs, a nutritious snack box for children. For sites that can accommodate serving a noontime meal during the summer, funding through the Summer Food Service Program provides the resources for the Food Bank to deliver a nutritious lunch to Kids Cafe sites. An outside contractor is used to prepare and deliver the meals. Currently there are 14 Kids Cafe sites serving 1,000 children daily.
BackPack Program  
A program based on successful models developed at other food banks, the BackPack Program is provides hungry children with a backpack full of food on a Friday to provide nutrition during the weekend.

Other Funds that Support Agencies and Programs

Children and Youth Fund  
This program provides food grants to agencies that primarily serve infants and children: child care centers, after school programs, community centers, Boys and Girls Clubs, youth shelters, battered women’s shelters, and homes for runaway youth. These food grants enable agencies to stretch resources and provide more food, essential counseling services, training programs, and other programs for needy youth.
Emergency Food Fund  
In order to supplement our donated food inventory, financial donations made to our Emergency Food Fund (EFF) allow the Food Bank to purchase high-demand, nutritious food items. Traditionally, EFF donations have been used to purchase the food, and then the food is distributed with a shared maintenance fee. Recently, virtual food drive and similar donations have been used to purchase the food and to fund expenses incurred to distribute this food, thereby allowing the food to be distributed free of charge to agencies. This change was made because many agencies have very limited budgets, and with the food distributed free of charge, more agencies are able to benefit from this food.

Food For Families
Similar to our Children and Youth program, Food For Families provides food grants to agencies that primarily serve families with children. Donated funds are credited to agencies’ Food Bank accounts, allowing agencies to receive food from the Food Bank at no cost. These food grants enable agencies to stretch resources and provide more food and essential services for needy families.

Food Distribution Fund
In 2006, our Food Distribution Fund helped provide the resources to distribute 23 million pounds of free food to our agencies.  Examples of these foods include canned goods, bread, produce, flour, rice, and beans.  Donations to the fund offset expenses for processing, storing and distributing donated food and allow the Food Bank to give much needed foods to our agencies.

Disaster Relief Fund
Funds designated for this fund are utilized to offset the costs of collection, storage and distribution of product in the event of a disaster.

Other Food Bank Programs/Activities

Public Policy and Advocacy
As a leader in the fight against hunger, the Food Bank advocates on behalf of our network of agencies and the people we serve on the federal, State and local level. The Food Bank’s primary focus is on food and nutrition issues in order to reduce hunger throughout Los Angeles County.

Hunger Education
In 2004, the Food Bank and the UCLA Center for Health and policy research co-published a policy brief detailing hunger in Los Angeles County. The policy brief provided food insecurity statistics for eight strategic planning areas (SPA) in Los Angeles County. The Food Bank held policy brief meetings for each SPA to provide hunger statistics for each agency’s area.

In 2010, the Food Bank published Hunger in Los Angeles County 2010, the most comprehensive report to date on the problem of hunger in our community.

CalFresh Outreach 
CalFresh is the new name for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in California.  Formerly known as the Food Stamps Program, this is a federal program run through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).   Through this program, the Food Bank sends trained outreach workers to food pantries during food distribution times.  While visiting the pantries, outreach workers are available to answer questions about the CalFresh program, and accept applications from clients who wish to apply. The Outreach Team is equipped with laptops and software that allow them to evaluate each client’s eligibility.

Recently, the Food Bank has been instrumental in changing and forming CalFresh policy for Los Angeles County and the State of California. The Food Bank continues to work with LA County and agencies on CalFresh outreach activities.

Nutrition Education
With growing concerns on childhood obesity and senior nutrition, many of our agencies have shown an interest in nutrition education workshops and information. The popularity of our nutrition education workshops at the All Agencies Conference continues to grow from year to year.  Through our Kids Café Program we provide weekly/monthly nutrition education classes at selected Kids Cafe sites.