300+ distributions for the Food Bank, 100+ in partnership with LA County
On Thursday morning of March 18, 2021, truckloads of about 2,000 food kits of shelf-stable food items, fresh produce and dairy were unloaded into the parking lot of Good Samaritan Hospital of the Westlake District of Los Angeles County. This scene has become a familiar one amid the pandemic as millions of people in LA County continue to wrestle with the economic impact of the virus.
This process is also familiar to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank staff and volunteers. These large drive-thru COVID-19 Relief distributions have been conducted nearly 300 times since the outbreak of COVID-19, and this particular morning marked the 100th milestone distribution in partnership with Los Angeles County.
Supervisor Hilda Solis reflected on the one-year mark of the beginning of the pandemic and how the need for food assistance remains high in the community despite currently coming out of the pandemic and starting to come into the red tier because there are still so many without jobs.
Before the pandemic, 1 in 5 residents in L.A. County faced food insecurity. As a result of the economic recession caused by the pandemic, that number has soared. A USC Dornsife report on the impact of COVID-19 on food insecurity in Los Angeles County reveals that between April and May, roughly 1 in 4 people living in LA County dealt with an instance of food insecurity – equivalent to about 955,466 households.
“So many people who are coming through these distributions have never sought food assistance before, this is the first time they’ve ever been in this position,” said Michael Flood, President and CEO of the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.
The Food Bank and our 700+ agency partner network across Los Angeles County have seen a dramatic increase in the need for food assistance ever since the pandemic started in March 2020. It is through partnerships in our community that allow the Food Bank to continue our mission to mobilize food resources for those in need.
Gary Gero, the Food Branch Director for Los Angeles County’s Emergency Operations Center, emphasized the commitment of his office, the Food Bank, the County and other community organizations to continue to work together for as long as the need for food assistance is there.