It’s easy to get caught up in the gastronomical culture of Los Angeles. But the truth is that one out of every ten L.A. residents is at risk of hunger. Do your part to help by donating money, food, or time to one or more of these wonderful organizations:
Los Angeles Regional Food Bank (East L.A.)
The Los Angeles Regional Foodbank provides food to over 1000 local charities and organizations including abused and abandoned children homes, battered women shelters, senior centers, local food pantries, soup kitchens, AIDS hospices, and schools. Make an appointment for two or twelve and help package food for distribution. For more information, please visit www.lafoodbank.com.
Midnight Mission Soup Kitchen (Downtown)
Located in the heart of Skid Row, Midnight Mission provides shelter and meals to the local homeless population. Volunteer opportunities include serving meals, setting-up and cleaning-up of dining areas, organizing food donations, and helping with their mobile food delivery service. For more information, please visit www.midnightmission.org.
Downtown Women’s Center Cooking Club (Downtown)
Since 1978, the Downtown Women’s Center has been providing a safe place for homeless women. In addition to accepting food donations and help with serving meals, the Center offers a unique volunteer activity: the Moonlight Cooking Club. They provide the recipe and you bring some of the ingredients. The Cooking Club is held every other Tuesday from 6:30pm to 8:30pm and there’s no regular commitment required. For more information, please visit www.dwcweb.org.
L.A. Food Not Bombs (Silverlake, Venice, & Downtown)
International Food Not Bombs is comprised of over 400 “autonomous activist collectives (not charities) that oppose the poverty, inequality, violence, war and militarism, prejudice and oppression, and environmental destruction…” Its slogan reads: “food is a right, not a privilege.” Since 1997, the Los Angeles chapter has been providing free vegan and vegetarian meals – using leftover food donated by grocery stores – to the homeless throughout the city. For more information, please visit www.lafoodnotbombs.org.
Food on Foot (Hollywood)
Founded in 1996 out of the trunk of one man’s car, Food on Foot is a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting the poor and homeless of Los Angeles. In addition to providing clothing, sleeping bags, and employment counseling, it operates a meal program every Sunday in Hollywood. You can donate money (check out their $84 club) or volunteer time (which requires a nominal registration fee). Food on Foot also accepts groups of 20 or 30. A $2000 donation covers the full cost of food for one day. For more information, please visit www.foodonfoot.org.
Union Rescue Mission (Downtown)
Established in 1891, Union Rescue Mission is one of the largest and oldest Christian missions in the United States and Los Angeles, respectively. It provides a variety of services to the homeless including housing, food, medical care, and educational programs. Volunteers can sponsor their own food drive or help in other ways. For more information, please visit www.urm.org.
Upward Bound House (Santa Monica)
Upward Bound House is a non-profit organization serving homeless families with children and low-income seniors in Santa Monica. It operates Family Place, a transitional housing facility for homeless families, and Senior Villa, a housing facility for the elderly. The Intergenerational Center, which connects these two housing facilities, is home to various educational and extra-curricular activities. In addition to mentors, tutors, and administrators, Upward Bound House is always in need of food drive and food pantry volunteers. For more information , please visit www.upwardhoundhouse.org.
California Food Policy Advocates (California)
Housed out of San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Fresno, the California Food Policy Advocates is the only advocacy program in California that focuses on hunger and malnutrition among low-income people. For more information, please visit www.cfpa.net.
Angel Harvest (Hollywood)
The Angel Harvest picks-up unserved leftover food from over 3,900 catered events and corporate cafeterias and distributes it to various food programs in Los Angeles. For more information, please visit www.angelharvest.org.
Frontline Foundation (Downtown & Northridge)
Since 1987, Frontline Foundation has served over 850,000 meals to residents of Skid Row. This independent organization emphasizes that everything be done with love and compassion. Volunteer opportunities include collecting and distributing food in Downtown and preparing food in the Northridge kitchen. Frontline also sells aromatherapy candles, with all proceeds going to fight hunger. For more information, please visit www.frontline-foundation.org.
Westside Food Bank (Santa Monica)
Since 1981, the Westside Food Bank has been providing food assistance to the Western Los Angeles County homeless, nearly half of which are children. Each year, it distributes over 4 million pounds of food to over 65 social service agencies. Each dollar donated to the Westside Food Bank provides 5 pounds of food or 7 meals. Volunteer opportunities include sorting food, picking-up food donations, and organizing food drives. For more information, please visit www.westsidefoodbankca.org.
Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition (West Hollywood)
The Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition seeks to provide meals for the homeless and hungry of West Hollywood each day. It collects and redistributes uneaten food from restaurants, grocery stores, hotels, and other business in Los Angeles. For more information, please visit http://www.volunteermatch.org/orgs/org24093.html.