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Program Spotlight: Child and Nutrition Programs

Program Spotlight: Child and Nutrition Programs

Hilda Ayala, Programs Director at the Food Bank, talks about the Child Nutrition department.

Management Team - LA Food Bank

The mission of the Child Nutrition Programs department is to effectively and efficiently provide nutritious food to food-insecure children in Los Angeles County through existing programs and to provide nutrition education to our network of agencies, programs and employees.

During my 18 years at the Food Bank, I have heard numerous stories from the people that we serve. Clients have shared their hardships in life, their struggles between deciding to purchase food and paying rent or a utility bill. I have heard stories about families renting a kitchen space so that they have a place to sleep in. I have met many seniors who have to decide whether to purchase food or pay for their medication. I have talked to several students who have shared their struggles between purchasing food or paying for tuition and their books.

Every story matters, but the children stand out the most.

Young boy with juice box.

Many children have expressed how happy they are to see us arrive with fruits and vegetables. I carry vivid snapshots in my head of their little faces lighting up when we arrive at a distribution site. I keep these stories with me and they serve as motivation for me to do more.

Thanks to private and government funding, we are able to serve more than 7,000 children through our Child Nutrition programs. The children we serve through our programs rely on school meals and the food that the Food Bank provides. Without our Food Bank programs, more children would go to bed hungry, fail at learning in a school environment and be malnourished. The need is greater than who we currently serve. We have waiting lists with children and schools that want to partner with us however our funding is limited.

I would like to thank our donors for their compassion and desire to help those in need. If it were not for their generosity, we would not be able to help provide food to those families and individuals that need it. Our donors play a vital role in our success. I am humbled by the work we do and thank our donors with sincere gratitude.

You can help the Food Bank increase access to nutritious food for the one in four kids facing food insecurity LA County by sponsoring a program. Learn more by emailing Roger Castle, Chief Development Officer, at rcastle@lafoodbank.org.

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