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Debunking Food Insecurity Myths

Debunking Food Insecurity Myths

Food Insecurity is an issue in Los Angeles County. Find out if you know all the facts about this pressing concern.

In a county as wealthy as Los Angeles County, the issue of food insecurity remains a pressing concern. The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank is committed to addressing this challenge head-on, but misconceptions about food insecurity often hinder collective efforts.

Myth #1: Food Insecurity is Limited to Unhoused Individuals

Contrary to popular belief, food insecurity does not solely affect those experiencing homelessness. Many individuals and families facing economic hardships struggle to put nutritious meals on their tables. The Food Bank serves many community members, including low-income families, seniors on fixed incomes, college students and working individuals who are just one unexpected expense away from financial instability. While the Food Bank serves people experiencing homelessness, they make up 10% of the overall population of those served. 

Myth #2: Food Insecurity is a Rural Issue

The Food Bank serves communities from Long Beach to the Antelope Valley. But despite its urban sprawl and vibrant lifestyle, urban food deserts—areas with limited access to affordable, fresh, and nutritious food—are prevalent in our County. The Food Bank is actively working to bridge these gaps and provide every neighborhood possible access to healthy food options.

One of the Food Bank’s 600 partner agencies includes the First New Christian Fellowship Church in South Los Angeles. Despite its location, access to nutritious and affordable food is more than a 10-minute drive. However, the Food Bank and the Church have worked together for over 20 years to bring fresh fruits and vegetables to those who need them most.

Myth #3: Food Insecurity Only Affects Unemployed Individuals

Employment does not always guarantee food security. Households with multiple incomes still struggle to afford basic necessities, including food. Rising living costs, housing expenses, and other financial burdens can stretch budgets thin, leaving little room for nutritious meals. The Food Bank provides food assistance to individuals and families regardless of employment or financial status.

Additionally, the Food Bank also provides assistance to seniors who have worked all of their lives, and due to inflation, cannot keep up with the rising costs of food, rent, medical bills and other expenses.

Myth #4: Food Donations Alone Can Solve the Problem

While food donations are crucial in the fight against hunger, they are not a standalone solution. Donating food is core to the work of food banks, including the LA Regional Food Bank. Volunteering is also critical and allows food banks to glean, sort, package and distribute food throughout their service areas. While food donations and donated time are greatly appreciated, the Food Bank also relies on monetary donations, which provide the greatest flexibility in the fight against hunger.

While 85% of food is donated to the Food Bank as of February 2024, the Food Bank buys the remaining 15%. Additionally, there are other expenses associated with operating a Food Bank, including transportation, administrative, and other expenses that donations may help cover.

The Food Bank remains dedicated to alleviating hunger and empowering communities through sustainable solutions. Join us in our mission to alleviate hunger in LA County by donating today.

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When you give monthly, you provide food to a family in need. Together, #WeFeedLA.

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