Facing Hunger Where It Hurts the Most

Facing Hunger Where It Hurts the Most

Charitable Agencies on the Frontlines of Hunger Provide Hope

The Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation is one of more than 600 charitable partner agencies that receive food from the Food Bank. “Working with the Food Bank is very enjoyable,” said Vera Yeh, program coordinator. “I feel so cheerful when I walk into the Food Bank warehouse. Everyone is so supportive.”

In 2016, the Foundation learned that someone had broken into a school in San Bernardino. “We thought maybe someone wanted the computers or something,” said Flora Yeh, volunteer coordinator. “But actually, it was the students from the school breaking into the cafeteria because they needed food. It was summer break, and the children were hungry. It made my heart really break. That’s why we started this program.”

Vera used to work as a nutritionist. Now she pours her passion into selecting the most nutritious items for distribution. The Foundation serves approximately 700 families every month with 25,000 pounds of food from the Food Bank that is supplemented with food from other sources. “We don’t just give out the food. We listen to their stories,” said Vera. “I know without the Food Bank, many people would suffer from malnutrition or other health issues.”

The Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation has been partnering with the Food Bank since 2017, but they have been providing other services in Southern California since 1985. When they realized there was an urgent need for food assistance, they knew they had to get involved in hunger relief as soon as possible.

The Foundation’s four monthly distributions in Los Angeles County would not be possible without the Food Bank. They would also not be possible without volunteers. Each monthly distribution requires 60 to 70 volunteers to prepare and distribute the food. Families and individuals receive between 40 and 50 pounds of fresh produce, beans, grains, nuts, dried fruit and other healthy options. “The most rewarding part is to see the recipients and volunteers,” said Flora. “Healthy community, healthy families, healthy country. Everybody is happy.”

“If we didn’t have a relationship with the Food Bank, we could not do this. A healthy community is very important to us.”

Flora Yeh


Flora Yeh

Volunteer Coordinator
Charity Department, Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundationn

Rescuing Food: By the Numbers

The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank is making a huge impact on feeding hungry families in the region while also reducing the amount of food wasted in Los Angeles County. See for yourself how it’s done!

Each week, surplus food is rescued:

  • 803,946 pounds of food are collected
  • 616,907 meals are distributed

What happens to unusable food?

The Food Bank has more than 30,000 volunteers each year who sort, glean and pack food. Any food that isn’t fit for consumption still goes to a better use by being turned into compost or biofuel. Each month, the Food Bank helps:

  • Convert more than 68,000 pounds of food waste into biofuel
  • Turn 18,000 pounds of food product into animal feed
  • Prevent nearly 835 metric tons of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere by keeping surplus food and food waste out of the landfill

Fighting Hunger and Food Waste

A Special Advertising Supplement for some LA Times subscribers.

stack of fighting hunger and food waste newspapers


1 in 5 people in Los Angeles County has trouble finding food, while perfectly good food goes to waste. Learn how the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank is battling both issues for a win-win.

More Stories from the LA Regional Food Bank

The LA Regional Food Bank’s Menstrual Hygiene Products Assistance Program

In 2022, the Food Bank and our partner agency network of over 600 other nonprofit organizations throughout LA County distributed 3.3 million menstrual hygiene products to 114,816 households. Read more.

Agency Capacity Grant Allows Food Bank to Purchase Needed Equipment for Partner Agencies in the Fight Against Hunger

The Food Bank recently received a capacity grant, allowing us to purchase items for agency partners to help fight hunger in LA County. Learn more.

The Food Bank in the Late ‘70s and Early ‘80s

Learn more about the supporters, volunteers and key players in the formation and growth of the Food Bank.

LA Regional Food Bank Receives $100K Equitable Food Access Grant from Starbucks

The consecutive grant provided by Starbucks will help Food Bank address food insecurity among communities of color throughout Los Angeles County.

Stay Connected

Sign up for the latest in our fight against hunger.