After the outbreak of the pandemic in Los Angeles County, the LA Regional Food Bank got to work on how to continue serving the community while still following health and safety regulations. Among the changes were the mass drive-through distributions that are held in conjunction with LA County. Throughout 2020, the Food Bank served between 900,000 and 1.1 million people per month at drive-through distributions or from the Food Bank’s more than 600 partner agencies throughout LA County.
Although life looks more normal for many people in our community, inflation is now a major concern for individuals from all walks of life and professions. With the rising cost of food, gas, rent, and utilities, to name a few, individuals who have worked throughout their life are now having to turn to food distributions to help them get through the month.
In late June 2022, the Food Bank held one of its weekly drive-through distributions at Belvedere Park in East Los Angeles, in conjunction with LA County and Supervisor Hilda Solis. More than 1,500 individuals had the opportunity to pick up two boxes of food, including canned goods and fresh produce at the distribution, and in a community of need, over a thousand boxes went to homes of families in need.
The Food Bank’s Program Coordinator Daniel Quintero, Jr., knows all about the drive-through distributions, working every distribution throughout the pandemic and beyond. By now, Quintero has heard his share of stories from food recipients, from families that were struggling even before the pandemic hit, to individuals who have full-time jobs and are still struggling to keep up with inflation.
“Whatever car they’re driving, whatever they’re wearing, they’re all going through some hardship; they’re all here because they need it,” Quintero said. “And the one thing they all need is food.”
Down the street from Belvedere Park, Guadalupe Rosas lives with four family members, including her infant grandson. Money is tight in the household, constantly seeking food distributions within a walking distance. Through a group message, Rosas found out of the distribution at Belvedere Park, and along with her friend, they got their utility wagon and set off.
In one box, Rosas was taking home fresh produce, including carrots, potatoes, and onions, and in another box, canned goods, milk, rice, beans, and eggs that typically last a family of four around a week and a half. Additionally, Rosas would also walk away with diapers for her grandson, courtesy of Baby2Baby.
“There are five of us at home, we need this food and that’s why we’re here,” Rosas said. “With this food, we all eat.”
$1 donated to the LA Regional Food Bank is the equivalent of four meals destined for individuals in need. You can make a difference by making a one-time or monthly donation, or by donating your time to the Food Bank. Together, We Feed LA.