There is an unprecedented need for food right now as millions of Americans have lost their jobs. Locally food pantries are seeing a two-fold increase in the number of people who need food. Members of the Wilshire Rotary are trying to do their part to help out.
“We are concentrating our efforts in three ways,” explained Rotary President Ron Reyes. “First, we are joining others in donating funds to help the Salvation Army to feed people on Skid Row for eight days over the next several months. Second, we are starting a food drive to help our local food pantry at St. James Church. (Donations can be brought to the pumpkin patch/Christmas tree lot on North Larchmont Blvd. – see below.) And third, we are working with the Karsh Center at Wilshire Blvd Temple, Hope-Net, and Alexandria House to provide support during this challenging time.”
The Karsh Center at Wilshire Boulevard Temple, provides food and social programs and has seen a huge increase in demand for food and essential items like diapers since the pandemic began. Alexandria House which provides transitional housing for women and their children, and has been feeding residents of the nearby neighborhood as well as their own clients. And Hope-Net, the all volunteer network of 13 faith-based food pantries in the metro Los Angeles area. (Hope-Net’s annual fundraiser, The Taste of Larchmont, normally scheduled for August and which contributes 25% of the organization’s annual budget, may not happen this year.)
And in addition to those efforts, the Rotary is also working with member Angel Amezquita, Executive Director at the Salvation Armory. Amezquita coordinates the Red Shield’s 11th Street location, which has been working with local restaurants and others to provide meals for homeless people on Skid Row, as well as clients of the Red Shield’s community service programs.
Going back to the second effort Reyes mentioned above, Rotarian Janice Prior has organized a food collection drive to support the St. James Food Pantry, part of the Los Angeles Regional Bank Food. This weekend and next volunteers will be staffing the pumpkin patch/Christmas tree lot at 568 North Larchmont Blvd to collect donations. Volunteers will be there this Saturday and Sunday, May 2-3 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. and next Friday and Saturday, May 8 -9 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
“Our efforts support the local pantry is St. James that gives food once a week to needy families and individuals distributing on average about 900 bags per month, serving a monthly total of about 1700,” said Prior.
The pantry distributes food in two different ways: grocery bags and quick bags. Quick bags are for those without a place to cook / prepare a meal. Items are needed for both.
Most requested items are listed below, but they can use all items in the attached list as well.
● canned protein such as tuna, sardines
● soups and stews
● peanut butter & jelly
● canned fruits & vegetables
● fruit juices
● staples such as beans, rice, pasta, cereal
● pouches of tuna
● crackers and cookies
● snack packs
● pop-top single serve meal (ravioli/ mac n cheese)
● cup of noodles/ soup
Wilshire Rotary is joined by Historic Filipino town, Hollywood, Thai Town and Korea Town Rotary clubs in their food raising efforts, explained Prior.
Donations to the food drive are welcome. The Rotary will make sure the food collected is delivered to the St. James pantry and the Los Angeles Regional Bank.
Drop off Address is 568 N. Larchmont Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90004 and volunteers will be there on the following schedule:
May 2 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
May 3 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
May 8 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
May 9 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.