St. Agnes Parish Food Pantry Provides for its Neighbors

St. Agnes Parish Food Pantry Provides for its Neighbors

How this Food Bank partner agency serves up nutrition and more to its community

Nestled amidst the vibrant and diverse cityscape of Los Angeles, St. Agnes Parish stands as a beacon of faith and compassion, inviting all to experience prayer, peace, and joy within its welcoming embrace. Within this close-knit community, an invaluable partnership with the LA Regional Food Bank thrives, uniting individuals and resources in a shared mission to combat hunger and uplift lives.

Together, we join hands to extend the reach of food assistance to those in need as St. Agnes Parish opens its doors to serve as a sanctuary of hope and nourishment for those in need. Their Food Pantry Program is a testament to their unwavering commitment and shines as a guiding light for countless individuals and families facing food insecurity.

Their Food Pantry Program helps clients with nutritional needs through weekly food distributions. When St. Agnes Parish’s Center Director Maria Ahumada started in 2021, there was an average of about 20 clients and now that number has grown to about 100. 

Related Story: LA County Faces Ongoing Food Insecurity Challenges as Rates Near Peak Pandemic Levels

With what  St. Agnes Parish receives from the Food Bank, she and her team will purchase other food staples to curate a well-rounded variety of food products that clients can choose from while making meals at home.

“I believe that [food distributions] reduces their food insecurity and their stress level because they know there’s a source or a sure thing for them to come and get food such as fresh fruits and vegetables – I think that releases some of that energy they need to spend on stressing about where their next meal is going to come from or if they’re going to have a next meal,” says Ahumada.

The majority of the individuals that St. Agnes Parish serves are older adults. Through a survey, many participants shared that they managed lifestyle diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes, where a balanced, nutritious diet is even more critical. Many clients requested fresh fruits and vegetables. The organization also offers a cookbook of simple recipes to inspire clients to utilize food and fresh produce they receive during distributions.

Related Story: Food-Insecure Older Adults are More Susceptible to Cognitive Decline

Food for the Soul

In an effort to break down the stigmas around asking for food assistance, Ahumada makes it a point to get to know the clients on a first-name basis to help assure individuals that they are in a safe, welcoming environment and that there are people who care.

Aside from food assistance, St. Agnes Parish provides other services such as help with funeral costs, rent, and bills on a case-by-case basis given their limited budget.

At the LA Regional Food Bank, we are genuinely proud of this partnership with St. Agnes Parish. Through the combined strength of our shared mission, we strive to make a lasting difference in the lives of those facing hunger, reaffirming the belief that we can build a stronger, more compassionate community together. Join us in the fight against hunger today.

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