On Friday, March 27, the Food Bank finished a record-breaking week with a “mega” distribution. Friday’s food distribution provided for more than 2,500 families. The distribution was hosted by the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor and Labor Community Services, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IEBW) and other organizations. While IEBW members impacted by Coronavirus layoffs and reduced hours were the focus population for this food distribution, other community members were served as well.
Normally, about 1 million pounds of food flows through the LA Regional Food Bank’s two warehouses. In the week of March 23, 2 million pounds of food was processed in the Food Bank’s warehouses, and that doesn’t include the Extra Helpings Program, which organizes food to be delivered directly from the donor to the Food Bank’s off-site partner agency. For reference, in 2019, the Food Bank distributed 81.8 million pounds of food and grocery products.
In the week ending on March 27, Food Bank’s increase in distribution shot up almost 50% when compared to the same week in 2019, and unfortunately, the need for food assistance is expected to continue to increase.
The Food Bank has roughly 10 million pounds of food on-hand and has started to purchase particular commodity items that are running low in order to create the variety necessary. After an initial dip in volunteer support, the Food Bank began to supplement volunteers with paid temporary labor. Many volunteers do continue to support the Food Bank also.
The Food Bank’s response to the Coronavirus is resulting in unplanned expenses and the need for financial donations.
The Food Bank’s locations are warehouse facilities, and they are not set up for distributions, so meals are not provided on-site. The Food Bank works with a network of 600 partner agencies to deliver food throughout LA County, nearby those who are in need, and also distributes food via the Mobile Food Pantry Program and other programs.
Those in need of food are encouraged to dial 211 or visit LAFoodbank.org/findfood to locate one of the Food Bank’s nearby partner agencies.
The recent “mega” food distribution represents one of many similar events that take place throughout LA County all year long. Thank you to the generous donors, volunteers and partners who make the work of the Food Bank possible.
To learn more about the Food Bank, visit LAFoodBank.org/about.