Food Bank Volunteers Fight Hunger During the Pandemic

Food Bank Volunteers Fight Hunger During the Pandemic

As the Coronavirus pandemic and economic downturn continue, Los Angeles Regional Food Bank volunteers are working hard to safely help our neighbors in need.

Volunteers remain the backbone of our work at the Food Bank. As we face unprecedented demand for food assistance, we’re especially grateful to our volunteers – as well as our partners, donors and supporters – for helping us increase distribution by 80%.

Volunteers Like Will Tran Enable Us to Reach 900,000 Neighbors Each Month.

 

Will and his fellow volunteers are making a huge difference in LA County, especially as more and more families seek food assistance. Economic hardship caused by the Coronavirus crisis means many of our neighbors are facing furloughs, layoffs, and reduced working hours. With the unemployment rate at roughly 20%, we’re seeing thousands of new clients who have never before been food insecure. If you or someone you know is in need of food assistance, we encourage you to visit our pantry locator or dial 211.

During this challenging time, we’re especially thankful for the dedication of volunteers like Will, who allow us to serve thousands of people each week. He first joined the Food Bank as a way to give back to the community — for almost five years, he’s distributed millions of pounds of food to those in need.

Among many other responsibilities, Will manages teams of volunteers that create food kits for distribution. Food kits include products like chicken, rice, soup, beans, and trail mix. Recipients also receive fresh produce, as well as information about nutrition guidelines and available resources. Each kit contains enough food to feed a family of four for one week.

 

Read more about what’s in a Food Bank box >

 

Volunteers Box, Sort, and Glean Food for Distributions

As Will notes, COVID-19 has caused an unprecedented demand for food assistance in our community. For the past few months, Will has been working six shifts per week to help feed our neighbors in need. The Food Bank has two distribution sites located in South Los Angeles and Commerce, both of which are following Public Health guidelines. Food products organized by teams of volunteers are distributed through the help of our 600 partner agencies, reaching hungry families and individuals across LA County.

While everyone has been impacted by the pandemic, seniors, low-income families and people with disabilities have been hit especially hard by economic hardship. With schools closed, many children are also at extra risk for food insecurity. It’s a critical time to fight hunger in our community.

Over the past four months, with the help of Will and other supporters, the Food Bank has provided 36 million meals (44 million pounds of food) to those in need. As Will mentions, we are doing our best to run at maximum capacity.

There Are Many Ways to Safely Fight Hunger Today

At the same time that the pandemic has increased food insecurity, we’ve also seen an understandable decrease in volunteers. The health, safety and comfort of every Food Bank volunteer and staff member remain our first priority, and we recommend that those who are high-risk, live with high-risk individuals or feel otherwise uncomfortable with volunteering find other ways to fight hunger. For those looking to volunteer, the Food Bank has implemented precautions to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, including entry temperature checks, hand sanitizer dispensers, social-distancing and extra health and sanitation procedures. Volunteers will also be provided with masks and gloves. 

 

Learn more about our volunteering protocols >

 

There are also many ways to fight hunger virtually! The ongoing coronavirus crisis has resulted in unexpected expenses for the Food Bank. If you’re able to contribute, please consider making a donation here. Every $1 can provide up to 4 meals for those in need. Hosting a Team #WeFeedLA fundraiser is another amazing way to get involved.

Thank you to our partners, donors and volunteers for your continued support. We are so proud to serve the community we love. Together, let’s work toward our vision: that no one goes hungry in LA County.

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