Richard Monteilh is the Vice Principal at St. Odilia School, one of the Food Bank’s partner agencies. The school participates in multiple Food Bank programs, including the Children’s Breakfast Program, which is funded by Hunger Is, a Joint Charitable Initiative of the Albertsons Companies Foundation and the Entertainment Industry Foundation. The program is designed to build awareness and raise funds in an effort to eradicate childhood hunger in America. Funds raised through Hunger Is directly benefit programs focused on combating childhood hunger and improving health-related outcomes.
Because of this funding, the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank is able to provide nutritious breakfast kits, which include items like fresh fruit, cereal and milk to children living in food-insecure homes in Los Angeles County.
“There’s a strong correlation between mental stability and having food,” Monteilh says. “When you’re hungry and you’re a kid it definitely has an impact psychologically. No one does anything well when they are hungry.”
Monteilh says his community has become more stable over the years, but that there are still many obstacles when it comes to nutrition. All of St. Odilia’s students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, so the need at the school is great.
Fortunately, supporters like the Albertsons Companies Foundation and the Entertainment Industry Foundation are actively involved in making a difference. “As a supermarket company, hunger relief is an outreach that is part of the core of who we are. We use our time and resources to ensure that nobody goes hungry, especially a child,” said Shane Dorcheus, Southern California president of Albertsons Companies, Vons and Pavilions. “We’re proud to be a longtime partner of the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank and support their tireless efforts to provide nutritious food to people in the LA area.”
“There’s a huge connection between them being able to perform at a higher level of academics and their diet,” Monteilh explains. “When companies like Albertsons jump, it’s helpful and beneficial to the future of what we want to build in our country,” Monteilh says. “Unhealthy kids build an unhealthy country. So, approaching the food insecurity problem is a phenomenal piece of their work and I appreciate it.”
The Children’s Breakfast Program currently serves 2,055 children at 24 sites, providing vital resources that children need to grow, play, learn and thrive.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you. That’s all we can say!” says Monteilh.