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The LA Regional Food Bank Holds the 21st Annual Season for Sharing

The LA Regional Food Bank Holds the 21st Annual Season for Sharing

LOS ANGELES, CA— December 15, 2023 —The 21st Annual Season for Sharing event hosted by the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank took place once again at the Omni Hotel in LA on December 14. Throughout the luncheon, the Food Bank acknowledged and honored the impactful contributions of donors, individuals and organizations in the ongoing fight against hunger in Los Angeles County.

“As we navigate the evolving challenges brought on by the economic aftermath of the pandemic and the end of essential pandemic-era food assistance programs, the ongoing dedication of our honorees shines as a beacon of hope in the fight against hunger,” says Michael Flood, President and CEO of the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. “Their unwavering commitment underscores the resilience of our community, working together to overcome adversity and build a future where no one in Los Angeles County goes to bed hungry. The stark reality of a staggering 30% of county residents grappling with food insecurity, as reported by USC Dornsife, further fuels our collective determination to create positive change.”

FedEx® received this year’s Community Partner Award. FedEx has been a longtime financial supporter of the Food Bank, donating more than $430,000 to help provide nutritious food for children, individuals and seniors in need and was also a sponsor for this year’s Season for Sharing luncheon event.

FedEx team members celebrated the company’s 50th Birthday this year by volunteering at the Food Bank in April. The timing was serendipitous as the Food Bank is also celebrating its 50th Anniversary. More than 100 FedEx employees gathered at the Food Bank’s new City of Industry warehouse, where they packed 4,816 food boxes that would later be distributed to individuals and families in need throughout LA County, either through direct distribution or a Food Bank partner agency. This event was part of the FedEx Cares “50 by 50” campaign to impact the lives of 50 million people positively.

The Fighting Hunger, Giving Hope award is presented to community members who have gone above and beyond to help the Food Bank bridge the hunger gap. This year’s recipients are longtime supporters of the Food Bank, Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken. The duo are award-winning chefs, cookbook authors, television personalities, entrepreneurs and pioneers of world cuisine. Widely recognized as ambassadors of modern Mexican cuisine, the team are co-chefs and co-owners of Border Grill restaurants in LA and Las Vegas.

Feniger and Milliken received the Julia Child Award and the Los Angeles Times’ annual Gold Award. Between them, they have co-authored six cookbooks and together starred in nearly 400 episodes of the Food Network’s Too Hot Tamales television series. Both competed in different seasons of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, each winning money for their selected charities. These two have also significantly contributed to various charities, including the Food Bank’s Taste of the Rams event, to help raise awareness and funds for fighting hunger in our communities.

Each year, a Food Bank partner agency is awarded the Tony Collier Award for providing exceptional support and assistance to those in need in its surrounding community. The Food Bank proudly honors Executive Director of North Valley Caring Services (NVCS), Manny Flores. NVCS is a nonprofit organization serving LA’s Northeast San Fernando Valley area. Since its humble beginnings as a soup kitchen in 1978, NVCS has become the largest single-site food distribution center in the San Fernando Valley, offering multi-pronged interventions to tackle homelessness, poverty and food insecurity in our community. NVCS was also the 2020 California Nonprofit of the Year.

In 2013, the Food Bank mourned the loss of Dennis Winston, a dedicated supporter and former Board Chairman. To honor his legacy, the Dennis Winston Memorial Leadership Award was established. This year, Michael Montgomery, a Board member since 2014, received the award for his outstanding contributions, including leading the Philanthropy Committee and playing a pivotal role in record-breaking fundraising, notably during the Building Hope Campaign, which raised $177 million in four years. Michael’s advocacy, financial support, and leadership have greatly benefited the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.

The 2023 Community Spirit Award went to Newlife Community Church. The Church is one of over 600 partner agencies of the Food Bank. This church in Pomona, CA works to help its community through their different times of need and during the pandemic was no different. Their Pastor, Zamar Alkiezar, saw the impact directly. Also serving as the Church’s Food Pantry Director, he and his group went from serving 800 families per week to 1,600 families per week. “One of the things we work towards is blessing the community,” said Alkiezar.

Being a nonprofit organization, the mission of the Food Bank can only propel forward with the engagement of community members. The Food Bank commends this year’s Season for Sharing award recipients for their invaluable involvement in the crucial fight against hunger all year.

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