LA Dodger Days combine a morning youth clinic with an afternoon resource fair to provide information and assistance for families. The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank’s CalFresh Team has been invited to participate to help families apply for food assistance.
RBI is a youth initiative designed to provide young people from underserved and diverse communities the opportunity to play baseball and softball. Coaches, local law enforcement officials and other role models spend the morning with young athletes while parents look on with pride and amusement. At the first event at Ross Snyder Park, on May 4, 140 children participated.
After the youth clinic, the event transitioned into festival-themed resource fair where the children were encouraged to visit every single booth to fill up their “passport” to win a prize. Melissa’s Produce handed out fresh apples, oranges and bananas, LA Reads distributed free books and Vision To Learn provided free vision screenings, just to name a few of the community partners.
The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank’s CalFresh Outreach Team was also there to distribute healthy snacks for children and information about CalFresh enrollment for their guardians. Some families even applied for CalFresh at the event.
“I’m really happy to do what I do,” said Karen Perez, one of the Food Bank’s CalFresh Outreach Workers. “It makes me happy to know my job is helping people who really need it.”
John Muto, Youth Programs Coordinator for the LA Dodgers Foundation, also said that the Food Bank’s outreach efforts were critical for the communities his foundation serves. “A lot of families don’t know how to apply for CalFresh or where to start because it’s very complicated, so I think a lot of families could benefit from what you do,” he said. “I think this even puts people one step closer to taking care of some of their financial needs.”
There were also some LA Dodgers Alumni in attendance on May 4, signing autographs and mingling with young fans. Kenny Landreau, who won the World Championship with the Dodgers in 1981, remembers playing on the field before it was turf. “It’s ironic that I’ve come full circle,” he said. “I used to play Sunday baseball on this field. It’s good to be back.”
A community is not well until everyone is well. When we come together, we can do more for low-income families so they can live happier, healthier lives. CalFresh and other community resources can make a big difference, but 1.4 million people in LA County still struggle to access nutritious food on a regular basis. By supporting the Food Bank with a monthly donation you can help close the meal gap for our neighbors in need.