10 Most Frequently Asked Food Bank Questions

10 Most Frequently Asked Food Bank Questions

A look inside the LA Regional Food Bank food box.Since 1973, the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank has worked to mobilize resources in the community to alleviate hunger. The Food Bank collects food from hundreds of sources. With the help of 30,000 volunteers annually and a network of more than 600 Partner Agencies, more than 900,000 people are helped each month (as of October 2020).

From mid-March to Mid-September, food distribution has increased by 125% compared to the pre-pandemic period. 91 million pounds of food, the equivalent of 75 million meals, have been distributed since the crisis started in March, including 1.1 million emergency food boxes distributed to families and individuals (3.3 million individuals served in total) through partner agencies and direct distributions. We’ve seen an increase in need and also support. The Food Bank is thankful for the community’s unprecedented amount of help, allowing us to meet the heightened demand for food during this time. With the increase in demand for food, many face food insecurity for the time ever or perhaps are looking for ways to help their community in a safe, socially distant way. We’ve outlined some questions to help you or someone you know.

Please let us know if any other questions aren’t covered in this list!

 

Do You Need To Apply or Register To Qualify for the Special COVID-19 Relief Drive-Through Distributions?

All people are welcome to come to the sites without applying or registering to qualify. We only ask that all recipients abide by the current Los Angeles County Public Health Guidelines as the Food Bank’s priority is to keep all clients, staff, volunteers and agency partners safe. 

 

Fairplex Emergency Food DistributionIf There Is No Transportation, Can Someone Walk To Pick up the Food Boxes?

Our drive-through distributions are strictly for cars; however, some of our agency partners, made up of hundreds of food pantries, offer walk-ups. We recommend visiting LAFoodBank.org/findfood for food assistance programs in any specific area. 

 

What Comes in an Emergency Food Box?

They vary depending on food donations; however, at the more recent distributions, there have been 80-pound boxes full of fresh produce, frozen protein kits, soups, beans, pasta, and other shelf-stable items, designed to last a family of four for about ten days. Since the pandemic, 1.1 million emergency food boxes have been distributed to families and individuals (3.3 million individuals served in total) through partner agencies and direct distributions.

 

For a closer look inside the Food Box > 

 

Can One Driver Pick up Food Assistance for More Than One Person/Family?

People can pick up for more than one person/family. When they are asked how many they are picking up, they can mention they are picking up for another household.

 

I Didn’t Get a Chance To Attend a Distribution – How Can I Catch the Next One?

We recommend bookmarking the Food Pantry Locator where you can enter your zip code to find food assistance programs within our 600+ agency partner network throughout Los Angeles County.

 

Hollywood Bowl Food Distribution

How Can I Help Join the Fight Against Hunger?

The Food Bank cannot exist without the support of our community. With the unprecedented support of our generous donors, agency network, and volunteers, we can meet our neighbors’ heightened needs during the pandemic and beyond. 

If you are in the position, please consider making a gift, vital to distributing healthy food for hungry neighbors in Los Angeles County. Through leveraged relationships, 97% of the revenues go directly to our programs providing food for children, hardworking families, struggling seniors and more. Donate today.

 

What Are the Different Ways To Donate?

  • One Time-donation: an easy one-time donation can be completed by mail, phone, PayPal and more. 
  • Planned Giving: When you include a gift to the Food Bank in your overall estate plan, you invest in our mission to fight hunger and give hope to people in need who don’t have access to healthy and nutritious food. You also become a member of our FeedingLA Legacy Society.
  • Monthly Giving: Just $23 per month provides a year’s worth of nutritious food for a neighbor in need. Monthly gifts help the Food Bank plan for consistent distribution within our community all year long and are one of the very best ways to give. The benefits of joining our Monthly Giving Program include early access to event tickets and special donor opportunities. 
  • Donate Stock: Electronic delivery of stock shares is the most secure and efficient delivery process available. However, you may also transfer certificates directly.
  • Donate Your Vehicle: If you have a car taking up space in your driveway, or if you’d like to make an impact by donating your vehicle, it’s possible to turn it into a tax-deductible donation to the Food Bank.

 

WeFeedLA Phone

If I Can’t Donate, How Else Can I Support the Food Bank Mobilize Resources in the Community To Alleviate Hunger?

You can help your neighbors in Los Angeles County during the pandemic in a virtual setting. At the Food Bank, we see a historic spike in need for food assistance throughout the County. We invite you to host a Team #WeFeedLA fundraiser. Every $25 helps us provide 100 meals to our neighbors in need during this critical time. 

Create a virtual fundraiser: Turn your event and/or your passion into an online fundraising event and help feed the hundreds of thousands of neighbors. 

We’ve seen so many great virtual fundraisers from the community in the form of: 

  • Virtual celebrations: turn your birthday or other special celebration that needs to go virtual into a #WeFeedLA fundraiser
  • Livestreaming fundraising: turn your next Livestream event into a charity stream to benefit the Food Bank! Our supporters have done live DJ events, roasts and gaming fundraisers.
  • Seasonal Campaign: Start a fundraiser to support our Back to School/Holiday campaign at the Food Bank. 
  • DIY Virtual fundraiser: turn your talents, interests, or special occasion into your own virtual #WeFeedLA fundraiser.
  • Fundraise on Facebook: Creating a Facebook fundraiser is easy, and we ask you to join us on Facebook to help provide hunger relief during this critical time. 
  • Start a virtual food drive: Raise money for the Food Bank, helping provide fresh fruits, vegetables and protein to those who are facing food insecurity, many for the first time.

“I put together an online fundraiser for the LA Regional Food Bank because I want to support their work in providing food to local communities in need during this critical time, given the recent sharp increase in demand for food assistance during the coronavirus pandemic. I am lucky to be able to keep working from home with my family while we shelter in place. As I looked at our fully stocked fridge and kitchen, I think of those who do not have the means to do the same, whether because of ongoing hardship or recent loss of employment.  Asking my friends and family to join me in contributing cash to the food bank seemed like the most effective way to provide assistance to those who need it.” – Hope Fang, 2020 Virtual Grocery Shoppers

 

How Is the Food Bank Able To Provide 4 Meals for Each $1?

Since 1973, the Food Bank has been rescuing and delivering fresh produce and shelf-stable products. In 2019 alone, the Food Bank distributed 81 million pounds of food, the equivalent of 66 million meals. Most of the food is donated from farmers, growers, retailers, the USDA and other organizations.

Our large volunteer workforce also helps us keep the cost of labor down. The combined savings of donated food and the volunteer workforce means the $1 donated helps to pay the cost of safely storing and transporting roughly 4 meals to those in need.

 

How Does the Food Bank Operationally Work?

The Food Bank helped to serve roughly 300,000 people each month before the pandemic, and since the Coronavirus outbreak, that number is closer to 900,000 people served each month. As of this writing, the Food Bank’s facilities move 4 million pounds of food each week. On our Food Bank Tour, you will see our storage facility, pick up operations and learn more about food rescue. You will also learn how the Food Bank takes inedible food and prevents it from being wasted in landfills by making it available for animal feed or biodiesel fuel.

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