The problem of hunger is real. Before the pandemic, a reported 13.7 million households, or 10.5% of all US households, were food-insecure at some point throughout 2019, according to statistics presented by the US Department of Agriculture. Meanwhile, home to over 10 million people and the largest population of any county in the nation, Los Angeles County is also where 2 million food-insecure families, children, older adults and individuals live.
Fighting hunger is intricate and requires many different entities to ensure the most effective way to address hunger. Financial donors, volunteers, community partners and our Partner Agency Network play a vital role in how the LA Regional Food Bank fights hunger. Our Partner Agency Network is made up of about 700 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and religious organizations that distribute most of the food and grocery products via the Food Bank. One of those partners is the Bread of Life Foursquare Gospel Church of West Los Angeles.
The church, founded over 25 years ago, is centered around “building holy and whole lives from the ground up by meeting the spiritual and physical needs of our community through the love of Jesus Christ.” The organization is spearheaded by Co-Pastors and Co-Founders Nancy Eskijian and Ellen Wohl.
The church hosts a free food distribution for those in need within the surrounding community to tackle the hunger crisis every Wednesday morning. “We live in a very expensive city and the Food Bank helps people on a daily basis,” says Pastor Nancy. “Often people will say, it’s my rent or my food,” she says. The church also distributes at Avalon Gardens Housing Project and Pueblo Del Rio Housing Project.
Many food-insecure people of LA County are typically working families with more than one job. However, with the fixed, high costs of living in LA, many families have to make the tough decision between bills or food. The pandemic has only exacerbated those vulnerable to food insecurity with the economic impact set to outlive the virus here in LA County.
With food products the church receives, including from the Food Bank, families and individuals in need have one less financial burden. Food recipients of this church’s food pantry can walk away with up to two or three big bags of food resources that are estimated to provide sustenance for one or two weeks.
“Our gas or our light would be cut if we didn’t have the food. The food, it helps us. People are still recovering and are going to be recovering for a long while,” says Veronica Gutierrez, a food recipient and volunteer at Bread of Life.
The Food Bank cannot carry out our essential work for those in need without agencies like Bread of Life Foursquare Church nor without the continued support of our generous community. If you are able, please help support the fight against hunger today.
“Please keep donating because that’s so many people that depend on it. Without this food, a lot of people would go hungry – kids would go hungry and our family would as well,” says Veronica.