The 2020’s Through Today at the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank

The 2020’s Through Today at the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank

As the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank commemorates 50 years of fighting hunger, this blog post is one in a series of blog posts that summarize the Food Bank’s incredible history starting in 1973. To catch up on our latest 50th Anniversary blog posts, please visit

The 2020’s at the LA Regional Food Bank

The LA Regional Food Bank played a pivotal role in addressing the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent inflationary cycle, and both situations made it more difficult for people in LA County to access the food they need for themselves and their families. Throughout these difficult times, the Food Bank swiftly adapted to the rising demand for assistance and worked tirelessly to alleviate food insecurity throughout our community.

Mrs. Carson and her 2-year-old granddaughter take a picture next to food kits they received at a drive-through food distribution.COVID-19’s Impact on Food Insecurity:

The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically disrupted communities worldwide, especially in Los Angeles County. As the unemployment rate soared to more than 20% and many other families experienced reduced work hours, people all over LA County struggled to put food on the table. Many families who never before sought food assistance found themselves in line to receive emergency boxes of groceries.

To respond to the elevated levels of need, the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank quickly responded to increased food going out into communities all over LA County. Strategic partnerships with other nonprofits and local governments allowed the Food Bank to distribute food locally at roughly 900 locations. The Food Bank also enacted creative solutions for food distribution designed to limit the transmission of the virus but simultaneously provide safe ways for food to be distributed. Fortunately, thanks to generous people worldwide, and particularly in LA County, the Food Bank experienced an increase in food and financial contributions, and the National Guard was deployed to work alongside the Food Bank’s volunteer workforce, which suddenly had significantly more work to accomplish. During this timeframe, the food going out into the community more than doubled. 

city of industry location of the LA Regional Food Bank

Scaling Up to Alleviate Hunger:

To meet the massive surge in need, the Food Bank converted its Mobile Food Pantry distributions to drive-thru distributions and hosted them all over LA County. The Food Bank also brought on new food pantries, vehicles and a new 256,000-square-foot distribution center in the City of Industry to help nutritious meals reach individuals and families facing food insecurity. 

Inflation’s Impact on Food-Insecure Families:

Unfortunately, the challenges faced by food-insecure families did not end with the pandemic. The subsequent inflationary period added to their hardships as the cost of essential goods, including food and energy, continued to rise. Families already struggling to make ends meet found their limited resources further strained, exacerbating their vulnerability.

Supporting Vulnerable Communities in Times of Inflation:

Recognizing the pressing need to assist those affected by inflation, the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank redoubled its efforts to provide essential food support. Through ongoing partnerships with partner agencies, government agencies, donors and volunteers, the Food Bank maximized the value of every donated dollar. 

As the unemployment rate returned to pre-pandemic levels, the need for food assistance only declined modestly, and in the Spring of 2023, as the pandemic phase ended, The emergency allocation for the CalFresh program ended. As of June 2023, the Food Bank is seeing a 9% increase on the average number of people who seek help each month.

Food Insecurity Is Far From Over

Julia Fahrer, food recipient from San GabrielTo those who supported the Food Bank through COVID-19 and inflation (and beyond), Thank you. Over its 50-year journey, the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank has stood as a pillar of hope and support for the community, particularly during times of crisis. Through its swift response to the COVID-19 pandemic and dedication to combating the challenges posed by inflation, the Food Bank has reaffirmed its commitment to alleviating hunger and nourishing the future of Los Angeles County.

Unfortunately, as the past several years have taught us, one thing after another continues to present challenges for people in our community who face Food Insecurity. From the pandemic to inflation to a reduction in benefits, it is clear that the most significant impact you can make is to help the people around you all year long. An excellent way to support your neighbors all year is to sign up as a monthly donor to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.

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More Stories from the LA Regional Food Bank

All Peoples Community Center’s Food Pantry Helps Stretch Marisol’s Grocery Budget

Seniors like Maria Soledad and Evangelina find the help they need to have nutritious meals at All Peoples Community Center. Learn more here.

Hollywood Strike is Impacting the Los Angeles Community

Individuals who help make movies happen are struggling to make ends meet as the Hollywood strike continues. Learn more here.

Cooper Kupp and Los Angeles Rams Join Forces with Renowned Chefs to Raise Funds for the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank and Combating Food Insecurity

The eighth annual Taste of the Rams event attracted the Los Angeles community members raised almost $200,000 to benefit the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.

Seniors Struggle to Make Ends Meet. Food Bank Partner Agencies are Here to Help

Seniors like Maria Soledad and Evangelina find the help they need to have nutritious meals at All Peoples Community Center. Learn more here.

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