Feed SoCal kicked off on May 29 and will continue until July 2. Throughout the campaign, community members have been making a difference by purchasing a $5 food bag at local Albertsons, Vons and Pavilions stores or by donating non-perishable food items at participating Subaru dealerships.
On Friday, June 14, the Food Bank celebrated valued partnerships at the Stuff-A-Truck event at Albertsons in Gardena. Major food and financial donors showed their support, as did many generous shoppers who stopped by to give bags of non-perishable items and meet their favorite ABC7 stars.
Don Lee Farms has been supporting the Food Bank’s mission since 1983 by providing both financial donations as well as more than 1 million pounds of protein products. Lean meat and healthy protein tend to be cost-prohibitive items for many of the people we serve. “We’ve had a relationship with the Food Bank for more than 35 years. My grandfather, my father and now I’m involved,” said Michael Goodman. “Today we brought chicken patties because they are high in protein and we know this is a needed item.” Charitable partner agencies of the Food Bank do report that meat is one of the most desired foods in low-income areas. The continued support from Don Lee Farms contributes greatly to the nutritional empowerment of the people we serve.
Bank of America has also been a generous supporter of the Food Bank’s mission since 1983 and stopped by to make a donation of $20,000. “Our purpose as a firm is to make people’s financial lives better and one thing we realized is that you can’t do that when people are hungry,” said Brad Chambers, Senior Vice President and Market Manager at Bank of America and Los Angeles Regional Food Bank Board Member. “With 1.4 million folks that have food insecurity* in the city, we’ve made it one of our top philanthropic commitments to give both in terms of man-hours as well as more than $600,000 over the years.”
Uchenna Nwosu of the Los Angeles Chargers was joined by the Charger Girls and presented a $5,000 check from the Chargers to the Food Bank. “This is a great cause and the Chargers like to look out for the community,” he said. “The community gives so much to the Chargers. Without the community, we wouldn’t be a team in LA.”
Of course, you can’t make a meal without staples like beans and rice. Goya has been supporting the Food Bank for more than a decade and stopped by Feed SoCal to donate three pallets of nutritious, shelf stable items. “Goya has a long tradition of giving back to the community,” said Oralia Michel, Public Relations for Goya Foods. “It feels great to know that this food is going where it is most needed.” Goya’s donation is the equivalent of more than 3,300 meals.
Of course, no Stuff-A-Truck event would be complete without volunteers. From six in the morning until the event ended, volunteers were on site, on their feet, helping to transport food donations from shopping carts to bins to be loaded on the truck. Remy Vigil, 15, was on the early shift. “This summer I really wanted to start volunteering because I had never done it before,” she said. “I’m just fortunate enough to have all of my needs met and to think that other families don’t have the basic necessities to live just makes me want to help.”
The Feed SoCal Campaign is appropriately timed with the end of the school, bringing much-needed awareness and other valuable resources to food banks just as the need for food assistance is about to increase drastically – especially for families with children.
Thank you to everyone who has already supported the Food Bank’s efforts to fight hunger in Los Angeles County. The Stuff-A-Truck event alone raised $50,000 and more than 230,000 pounds of food. These combined will allow the Food Bank to provide up to 394,911 meals for hungry children, older adults and families throughout our community.
If you were unable to visit us at the event but are able to make a monthly donation, remember that just $23 a month feeds one child for an entire year.
*The number of food-insecure people in LA County is now reported to be 2 million, as of July 2019.