Sitting above sea level, the Antelope Valley takes up more than 25% of the County’s land. Contrary to myths, the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank serves communities from Long Beach, all the way to the Antelope Valley where food deserts and a lack of reliable transportation can determine whether an individual or family gets to eat the next day.
Working in conjunction with several partner agencies in the Valley, the Food Bank serves a food desert community. A trip to the grocery store in the Antelope Valley can mean a 30-minute one-way trip for those with vehicles, while others may spend eight hours on public transit, according to representatives from the Food Bank partner agency, the Antelope Valley Partners for Health (AVPH).
AVPH has gotten to know the members of its community and their needs. That’s why, every week, they host food distribution, whether it be by drive-through or walk-up, and have worked with other local organizations in order to maximize their reach and help feed as many individuals in the Antelope Valley.
In Maria Oliveros’ case, she is lucky that she doesn’t have to travel far in order to attend the distributions at AVPH. Oliveros simply crosses the street from her home and gets in line. Even though she saves money on travel to get to AVPH, and she doesn’t have to withstand the extreme weather the Antelope Valley is known for, she feels the effects of inflation every time she goes to the grocery store.
Due to inflation, Oliveros and her family are saving wherever they can. One month prior from the time of our interview, the Oliveros household received a $600 electricity bill. Receiving help from AVPH goes a long way for this family.
Going to the grocery store has turned into a nightmare for many families in LA County. The simple thought of having to go to the store to purchase groceries means having to revisit the family budget. Items at the grocery store aren’t getting cheaper, and Maria Salcedo knows it.
As a senior living on a fixed income, Salcedo knows that she can’t afford the extra hike in the price of her favorite items, like fruits and vegetables. That’s why, together with her friend Yolanda Coben, the two attend AVPH’s food distribution at least twice a month to get the food that will help her grocery budget.