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The LA Regional Food Bank Celebrates the 19th Annual Season for Sharing

The LA Regional Food Bank Celebrates the 19th Annual Season for Sharing

LOS ANGELES, CA— December 13, 2021 — The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank’s 19th Annual Season for Sharing raised funds to fight food insecurity in Los Angeles County. The event celebrated many different hunger relief advocates, from donors and individuals to community partners who helped to alleviate hunger in LA County throughout the year. This year’s event was virtual for the second year in a row.

Returning event producer Paul Vitagliano and host Billy Harris navigated guests through a specially-curated multi-course meal presented by award-winning chef and restaurateur Timothy Hollingsworth of Otium. Specialty cocktails were prepared and demonstrated by two-times-Golden-Spirit-Award-winner at Tales of the Cocktail and recognized by the James Beard recognition to mixology, Charlotte Voisey.

“LA County has more people experiencing food insecurity than any other county,” said Los Angeles Regional Food Bank President and CEO Michael Flood. “However, events where we recognize donors, supporters and partners like Season for Sharing make me hopeful and confident that we can achieve our vision: that no one goes hungry in LA County.”

The Fighting Hunger, Giving Hope award is presented to a community member who has gone above and beyond in helping us work until we reach our vision that no one goes hungry in LA County. This year’s recipient is Barilla. Barilla has been a supporter of the Food Bank since 2018, one of the Food Bank’s Mobile Food Pantry Programs and commissioned world-renowned artist Colette Miller who installed one of her famous Global Angel Wings Project murals in the volunteer center at the LA Regional Food Bank Volunteer Center this year. “As a family-owned Italian food company, it is our strong belief that good, nutritious food should be available to all. This is why we have continued to grow our partnership with the LA Regional Food Bank since 2018. We are thankful to be able to reach even more families in need together,” said Fabio Pettinati, Vice President of Supply Chain at Barilla Americas.”

California Volunteers and California Chief Service Officer Josh Fryday were recognized for their steadfast commitment and engagement in hunger relief and received the Community Partner Award. The #CaliforniansForAll volunteer initiative was created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to expand on the work of California Volunteers to set up a statewide volunteer corps to help with the area’s response to emergencies and disasters such as COVID-19.

“Answering Governor Gavin Newsom’s call to action, Californians stepped up significantly to help the most vulnerable in our communities with urgency, compassion and integrity by helping the LA Regional Food Bank provide food assistance,” said California Chief Service Officer Josh Fryday. “We are proud of the #CaliforniansForAll volunteers, AmeriCorps VISTA and California National Guard members for their tireless commitment to serving others and how they are leading by example in the fight against hunger.”

Each year, a Food Bank partner agency is selected and is awarded the Tony Collier Award for providing exceptional support and assistance to its community. This year, the Food Bank is proud to honor the Executive Director of Interfaith Food Center (IFC), Veronica Castro. Castro has been with the organization for 16 years. IFC was founded in 1983 by local churches and synagogues when community members observed a concerning number of food-insecure individuals in the area. The organization is now one of the largest food pantries in California, serving more than 1,300 food-insecure families weekly and receiving food resources from the LA Regional Food Bank and local markets, churches, community organizations and donors.

“I am honored to be a recipient of the Tony Collier Award for 2021,” said Executive Director Veronica Castro of Interfaith Food Center. “It is really a community effort, and I stress that it takes a village that I’m proud to be part of. The award goes to the families we serve that make a difference and my great team here at IFC. When you give, you receive so much in return, and I think it is an effect that keeps ongoing.”

Gary Kirkpatrick, a member of the Food Bank’s board since 2009 and currently the Chair of the Finance Committee, was honored with the Dennis Winston Leadership Award. Some of Kirkpatrick’s philanthropic contributions include his fundraising and volunteering efforts and was a crucial role in the acquisition of the Food Bank’s City of Industry building.

“The past year or two has been phenomenal – the transformational process for the whole Food Bank and the need has exploded,” said Kirkpatrick in his acceptance speech. “With the Food Bank, we were able to triple the people we were helping without a hiccup. It was the most gratifying thing in my entire life to be able to make it through that time period and acquire a new building that literally almost triples the amount of warehouse space we have available, and it sets us up for the future to be able to feed those in need.” The Dennis Winston Leadership Award is named after a longtime friend, supporter and Board of Directors Chair Dennis Winston.”

About the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank
The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank has been mobilizing resources to fight hunger in Los Angeles County since 1973. To support the Food Bank’s vision that no one goes hungry in Los Angeles County, food and grocery products are distributed through a network of 700 partner agencies and directly to those in need through Food Bank programs. The Food Bank has distributed more than 1.7 billion pounds of food, the equivalent of 1.35 billion meals, since 1973. The total value of food and grocery products distributed since the Food Bank’s inception is $2.3 billion. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Food Bank tripled the number of people helped and now reaches 900,000 people every month. The Food Bank is a 4-star rated charity by Charity Navigator. For more information, visit LAFoodBank.org.

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