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A Token of Gratitude Through Volunteering

A Token of Gratitude Through Volunteering

How two volunteers at Newlife Community Church in Pomona give back in appreciation to the food pantry

Without the help from volunteers, it would be more difficult for the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank to provide as much food assistance to those in need, and partner agencies would have a difficult time operating as many rely on volunteers. In 2021, volunteers donated a total of 160,000 hours to the Food Bank and its partner agencies, the equivalent of 75 full-time employees. Without a doubt, volunteers provide invaluable support to Los Angeles County and the Food Bank.

Like hundreds of the Food Bank’s partner agencies, Newlife Community Church in Pomona also relies on volunteers to help at its weekly food pantry distribution.

Giving Back to the Community that Helped Him

Even before the pandemic, the need for food assistance was significant. Like many other individuals in LA County, Joed Torres found himself struggling and didn’t know where his next meal would come from. Accepting his reality of being food insecure, Torres went to a ministry in West Covina in search of help, but they later referred him to Newlife Church.

There, he received food from the food pantry, and support from his peers. However, he didn’t want to just accept what was given to him and walk away, he wanted to give back to the church and its community by becoming a volunteer.

Now in a better situation, Torres wants to help others. He understands the stigma and the pride that prevents many people from asking for help, and he wants to change that any way he can, and help as many individuals as possible.

“When it comes to food, it doesn’t discriminate – everybody gets hungry,” Torres said. “I understand what it’s like to not want to come to a place asking for help, it’s difficult for a lot of people.

“There’s no reason for anybody to be hungry,” he added.


A Rewarding Volunteering Experience

Linh Chong began attending the Newlife Church weekly food pantry with her elderly parents, who did not have the means to get there on their own. She also heard stories from residents in their senior living community about how much the food pantry helped them get by.

Filled with gratitude, Chong decided to volunteer her time to help out at the weekly food pantry, in addition to her full-time job at a local grocery store. Both at the distribution and at her workplace, Chong hears on a daily basis the stories of individuals struggling to purchase food and everyday essentials due to their rising costs.

“Here, at the food bank, it has helped [people] so much,” Chong said. Adding, “Volunteering – some people think it’s easy, but it is so rewarding. And if you can, find a way to help.”


Giving back to your community comes in many ways. You can volunteer at the Food Bank and in three hours of your day, you help sort, glean, pack or distribute food boxes for the 2 million in need of food assistance in LA County. If time is not of the essence, you can support by donating once or monthly – each $1 donated is the equivalent of four meals.

Join the fight against hunger!

It’s thanks to the generosity of our community that programs like the one offered at Newlife Community Church are made possible. Please consider donating to the Food Bank.

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