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A Food Pantry in the Heart of Downtown Los Angeles is Changing These Families’ Lives

A Food Pantry in the Heart of Downtown Los Angeles is Changing These Families’ Lives

St. Francis Center serves housed and unhoused individuals in the Downtown LA area and its surrounding communities

Located in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles, the St. Francis Center is one of more than 600 partner agencies with the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank helping families with food assistance. The agency sees both unhoused and housed individuals and families but has seen an increase in housed families seeking food assistance since the start of the pandemic.

It’s thanks to these partner agencies and food distributions that families are able to make ends meet, feed their families, and hope for a better tomorrow.

Helping Others in Exchange for Food Assistance

Life is unpredictable. After falling on hard times, Beatriz Carrete didn’t know what to do in order to get food. She started volunteering at her local church and received some food, but then she was referred to St. Francis. For more than 10 years, Carrete has been a loyal volunteer at the center, helping cook, clean, and assisting with the center’s maintenance, while also receiving food.

Without this food, Carrete wouldn’t know what to do.

“Everything is expensive; sometimes we can’t make it to the end of the week, or you don’t pay one thing in order to pay for another,” she said.

Families Struggle to Keep Up with Inflation

Even with multiple incomes under one roof, paying the rent and keeping up with the most recent inflation on everyday goods is hard for many families, especially those with young children.

Delmy Canjura is a recent retiree living with five other individuals including young children. Even though she receives her benefits and two other adults work in her household, it is still not enough to pay for everything that is needed. 

“Things are harder even though there are two people working,” Canjura said. “It’s impossible to comply with the requirements to sustain a family.”

Norma Garcia has been attending the St. Francis Center’s distribution for a few years, but even more often since the pandemic started and now that inflation has hit hard at home.

“With the help, we receive here, it makes things easier for us,” Garcia said.

Programs and distributions at partner agencies are possible thanks to donations destined to the Food Bank. If you are in a position to do so, consider making a donation.

Join the fight against hunger!

If you are in a position to do so, consider donating to the Food Bank and supporting our programs.

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