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St. Francis Center – A Food Pantry Fulfilling its Mission to Help Those in Need

St. Francis Center – A Food Pantry Fulfilling its Mission to Help Those in Need

Located in the heart of Los Angeles, St. Francis Center serves the housed and unhoused communities

With the financial effects of the pandemic still lingering, and inflation taking a toll in the lives and budgets of hundreds of thousands of families throughout Los Angeles County, more families are having to turn to food pantries in order to make ends meet. Whether there is one or there are multiple income households, everyday essentials at the grocery store are getting more expensive for families to pay for, and a hike in utility bills and rent doesn’t help their cause. 

As of February 2023, the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank works with roughly 600 partner agencies in order to provide families with food assistance, as well as provide diapers where needed, and feminine hygiene products to families in need. One of those agencies is St. Francis Center, located in the heart of Los Angeles, just south of the 10 freeway and half a block away from LA Trade Tech.

A Food Pantry Helping Families Get Through the Week

Since the start of the pandemic, St. Francis Center has doubled the number of food recipients they get at their distributions that are held four times a week. Due to its close location to Skid Row, one might think that the majority of these recipients are unhoused, however, they are now seeing more housed families than before the pandemic.

“The need in our community has tremendously increased because of things like housing insecurity, food insecurity, even utilities; not being able to pay your utility bill,” said Danielle Rayner, Development Manager at St. Francis Center.

Such is the case for St. Francis Center volunteer and food recipient Beatriz Carrete.

After falling on hard times, Carrete didn’t know what to do in order to get food. She started volunteering at her local church and received some food, but then she was referred to St. Francis Center. Here, she continues to volunteer, and also receives food.

Without this food, Carrete wouldn’t know what to do.

“Everything is expensive; sometimes we can’t make it to the end of the week, or you don’t pay one thing in order to pay for another,” she said.

Giving Back to the Community

If there is anyone that understands the community that St. Francis Center serves, it’s the Center’s Executive Director Jasmine Bravo. Growing up in this community, Bravo’s family also struggled with food insecurity. Being able to give back to her own community and provide food to those in need is more than rewarding.

“It’s unfortunate that we have to help so many people, but I’m glad that we’re here to help the people that are in need,” Bravo said.

Supporting the Food Bank through financial donations also supports programs like the one available at St. Francis Center. If you are in a position to donate, please do so.

Join the fight against hunger!

If you are in a position to do so, consider donating to the Food Bank and supporting our programs.

More Stories from the LA Regional Food Bank

Voices of the Food Insecure in LA County

LA County boasts a vibrant mosaic of communities. It is also home to one of the most profound cases of food and nutrition insecurity. Learn more here.

Individuals and Families Turn to Local Food Pantries In Order to Receive Crucial Food Assistance

Different, unexpected events may impact someone’s budget. Food shouldn’t have to be sacrificed. The Food Bank and local food pantries are here to help.

How Food Pantries and Food Banks Work Together to Fight Hunger

While food pantries and food banks are dedicated to eliminate hunger in their communities, they specialize in different areas and logistics.

Individuals and Families Leave Pride Aside and Attend Food Pantries In Order to Make Ends Meet

Different hardships push individuals and families to seek food assistance from local food pantries. Learn more.

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