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More than just a food distribution for those in need

More than just a food distribution for those in need

It’s not even eight in the morning, a little over an hour left until the free food distribution begins and there are easily over two dozen cars lined up at the Pioneer Event Center in Lancaster, Calif. While some have their windows rolled down due to the 80-degree weather, a cool morning in the Antelope Valley Summer, others must have the air conditioner on in their car while they wait with their loved ones for their turn to receive a few boxes of food that will impact their wallets and help them afford other essentials.

While things may seem to be getting back to a new normal, there are still individuals in Los Angeles County living with the uncertainty of where their next meal will come from. And that’s where the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank comes into play.

Since the start of the pandemic, week after week, thousands of cars with occupants from all walks of life, employed and unemployed, continue to line up at every Los Angeles Regional Food Bank free food distribution in search of food that will help them feed their families or simply help stretch their income and pay their rent, diapers, medical bills, or educational expenses.

Such is the case of Paz Araceli Najarro, a retiree who saw the effects of the pandemic hit home. While she contracted the virus, two of her loved ones did as well, but they didn’t run the same luck and passed away. Before the pandemic, the money she was receiving from her retirement just wasn’t enough, but things just had to get a little tougher before finding the light at the end of the tunnel.

Living with a caretaker friend, who joined her for the distribution, she too contracted the virus and was unable to work, help Najarro when needed, all whilst having to provide for her 18-year-old daughter who is on her way to college.

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Mr. Hall is another client that has felt the strains that the pandemic has caused. After his grandson was furloughed, money was tight at home, prompting him to seek help through the Food Bank.

Back at the Pioneer Event Center, the Food Bank staff and volunteers had their hands full throughout the entire distribution. Fighting through the rising temperatures that peaked at 104 degrees Fahrenheit, the line of cars seemed to not cease even past the scheduled noon end time.  Even as the scheduled end time comes around, the Food Bank ensures that all participants in line walk away with the food needed to feed themselves and their families. 

In just 2020, the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank delivered more than 174.6 million pounds of food, the equivalent of 143 million meals, working with 700 partner agencies to serve 900,000 individuals each month.

The Food Bank relies on the generosity of the community, so if you are in a position to donate, please do. The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank is a highly efficient charity, and just $25 provides the equivalent of 100 meals.

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