Season for Sharing was again held at the beautiful Omni Los Angeles Hotel, where the Food Bank honored donors, individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the fight against hunger in Los Angeles County. Jovana Lara, General Reporter and Weekend Evening Anchor for ABC7 Eyewitness News, emceed the event.
Ralphs / Food 4 Less was the presenting sponsor of this year’s Season for Sharing Luncheon. Vanessa E. Rosales, Director of Corporate Affairs at Kroger – Food 4 Less Division, welcomed guests and recognized the Food Bank’s tireless fight against food insecurity in Los Angeles. “We are proud to be the lead sponsor of this event again this year that highlights those in the community dedicated to ending hunger,” Rosales said. “The timing of the lunch coincides with our ‘Help 4 the Hungry’ donation drive to raise critical funds for the Southern California food banks. The ‘Help 4 the Hungry’ Campaign is a part of Ralphs’s Food 4 Less’s Zero Hunger, Zero Waste initiative to end hunger and waste by 2025.”
President and CEO of the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, Michael Flood, commented, “Each year at our luncheon, we highlight those who have gone above and beyond to fight hunger in our community. The four honorees this year have been fighting hunger for many years, and their dedication and commitment to end hunger is inspiring.”
James Yukevich, Founding Partner of Yukevich|Cavanaugh, was awarded the Fighting Hunger, Giving Hope award for his decades of support and advocacy for the Food Bank. “No one in our country should go hungry and I am proud to have helped provide nearly two million meals to those in need in our community. I am honored to be recognized by this impactful organization and join with them in their mission to end hunger.”
Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation was awarded the Community Partner Award for going above and beyond in serving the most vulnerable in our community. The Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation is an international humanitarian organization whose mission is to relieve the suffering of those in need and create a better world for all. In Chinese, “tzu” means compassion and “chi” relief. The Foundation provides food, clothing, shelter, direct financial assistance and more. And what they do is matched in quality by how they do it; Buddhist Tzu Chi volunteers are trained to be kind and attentive and to make social contact with those who turn to them for help.
Tony Collier founded the Food Bank in 1973 in Pasadena. To honor his memory and contributions to our community, the Tony Collier Award is given annually to an individual who exemplifies the Food Bank’s vision and mission. It is fitting that Mary Agnes Erlandson receives this recognition for her 32 years of faithful service to the community as the Director of St. Margaret’s Center in Lennox. Under Mary Agnes’s leadership, the agency has grown to offer expanded programs and services, including advocacy, counseling services, emergency food, immigration services, and utility bill assistance. Mary Agnes’s dedication is inspiring to others, and her commitment to serving her community members’ needs is unmatched.
In 2013, the Food Bank lost a longtime friend and supporter when Dennis Winston passed away after his battle against cancer. Dennis had a long legal career and was elected to the Food Bank Board of Directors in 1999. He served as Board Chairman for three years before terming off the Board and subsequently serving on the Advisory Board. Dennis’ leadership, eloquence, humor, and ability to bring people together marked his years on the Board and as Chairman. It is only natural to honor his memory with the Dennis Winston Memorial Leadership Award, which recognizes Board members who evoke Dennis’ traits and values. This year’s honoree is David Bishop, who has served on the Board of the Food Bank since 2012 and has led the Food Bank as Chairman of the Board for the past three years. David has been a tremendous advocate, generous financial supporter and great leader for the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.
This year, Season for Sharing was sponsored by Platinum Donors Delta Air Lines, Ralphs / Food 4 Less (lead sponsor) and Yukevich|Cavanaugh. Legacy Donors were Disney, FedEx and Grifols Services. Angel Donors were Don Lee Farms, Bank of America and Nick and Nancy Saggese. Community Donors were A-Mark Metals, LA Federal Credit Union, Lappen Family Foundation, Loeb and Loeb, Mike Connolly, Skadden Arps, Sue Leonard and Sullivan Curtis Monroe. Friendship Donors were Stone Tapert and Stout Risius Ross LLC.