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How the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank Services the Unhoused Population in LA County

How the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank Services the Unhoused Population in LA County

The Food Bank serves 800,000 individuals each month through direct programs and its 600+ partner agencies, including people experiencing homelessness

While many people assume that the LA Regional Food Bank serves the unhoused primarily, about 90% of the food goes to housed individuals and families who are struggling to make ends meet. The Food Bank doesn’t show preference to one population or the other, but these numbers show how many people in total, including the housed, face food insecurity. The Food Bank is also passionate about helping the unhoused population in Los Angeles County.

The Food Bank’s Service to Those Experiencing Homelessness

The Food Bank is proud to partner with agencies throughout the County. Many of our partner agencies are soup kitchens, shelters, and other organizations that provide food assistance to people experiencing homelessness.

As of July 2022, there are 15 meal sites that participate in The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) – Congregate Feeding Program CFP). These 15 sites serve on average 161,000 meals to over 102,000 duplicated individuals each month. Additionally, the Food Bank supports 25 agencies that largely focus on the unhoused population. It’s thanks to partnerships with soup kitchens and shelters that the Food Bank is able to reach those unhoused who seek food assistance.

Food Distribution Models and Assistance for the Unhoused

Most of the food distributed by the Food Bank is grocery-style food, including milk, eggs, frozen meats, and the like. For the unhoused population, these items are not a good fit due to the lack of a kitchen. That is why the Food Bank works with soup kitchens to provide grocery-style food that can be converted into nutritious, ready-to-eat meals. The Food Bank does also provide some readymade meals through our partner agency network as many of our partner agencies can provide assistance to the unhosed as well as the housed.

For example, Starbucks works with food banks across the country, including the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, to provide nourishing, ready-to-eat meals to people in need. Starbucks stores save food items that are not expired and were not sold, and redirect them to a Food Bank warehouse and those meals are distributed to individuals in need or utilized as ingredients for meals.

Food Assistance Available to the Unhoused Population

Housed or unhoused, the Food Bank and its Partner Agency Network is a great resource for those seeking food assistance. The Food Bank has over 400 pantry partners that serve both the housed and unhoused at their food distributions. The vision of the LA Regional Food Bank is that no one goes hungry. If you or someone you know is facing food or nutrition insecurity, please see the list below or visit LAFoodBank.org/findfood.

The following is a list of partner agencies that focus on the unhoused population (list as of July 2022):

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