Target has supported the Food Bank since 2006, donating $1.9 million to programs that serve those facing food insecurity in Los Angeles County. But Target’s commitment doesn’t stop there.
Children can’t learn when they are hungry. Sadly, the reality is, more than half a million children in our community do not have reliable access to adequate, healthy food. The Food Bank’s Mobile School Pantry program provides nutritious food to low-income students at multiple elementary schools in Los Angeles County. Participating students receive fresh fruits and vegetables as well as shelf-stable groceries at monthly distributions throughout the school year. By bringing food directly to schools, the program makes it convenient for students facing hunger to access the nutritious food they need. This helps them to learn healthy eating habits early in life and gives them the fuel they need to thrive and excel.
In addition to financial support, Target employees are willing to roll up their sleeves and donate their time. In June of this year, Target volunteers visited the Food Bank to create food kits for low-income seniors. At the end of their shift, more than 1,000 kits, representing 1,000 older adults without sufficient access to nutritious food, had been created.
“Target has had a great relationship with the Food Bank for more than ten years,” said Gilbert Diaz, local Target Store Director, and Food Bank volunteer. “We just enjoy coming here.” Growing up in East LA, Gilbert says he’s seen many families struggle. “For me, personally, it does a world of good to take an afternoon of my time and just give it because it’s the very least I can do.”
Volunteers are critical to the Food Bank’s work. More than 28,000 seniors rely on the Food Bank for the monthly food kit and, without volunteers, this need would not be met.
Target stores throughout the county participate in the Food Bank’s Extra Helpings Program, which connects food and product donors to our local partner agencies. This way, more food can be rescued quickly, which improves efficiency and reduces waste. Agencies with limited resources, including transportation, benefit greatly when companies like Target participate in Extra Helpings. Instead of heading to the Food Bank’s warehouse, these agencies can pick up locally instead, sometimes multiple times in a week.
In 2018, local Target stores donated more than 3.1 million pounds of food and other necessities (such as toiletries) to 63 agencies serving food-insecure children, individuals, families and seniors.
We believe that people can do amazing things when they have the right tools. That’s why we’re excited about our #WeFeedLA platform where you can create your own fundraiser. Use it to fight hunger in LA County!