Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Arnali Ray Hollywood Food Coalition New Executive Director

Arnali Ray takes over as Executive Director of the Hollywood Food Coalition, which serves a hot meal to unhoused neighbors every day, 365 days a year. (photos from HoFoCo)


Last month, the Hollywood Food Coalition announced the appointment of Arnali Ray, a local non-profit executive, as its new executive director.

“We are all thrilled to have Arnali lead Hollywood Food Coalition as the organization continues to grow its role and impact as a provider of essential services. Arnali comes to us with years of experience leading strategic growth initiatives and implementation and building programs at the Saban Community Clinic,” said former executive director and Brookside resident, Sherry Bonanno, who is retiring from the position but will stay on part-time. “Arnali has deep connections to the community and a passion for serving those in need. She brings her expertise to Hollywood Food Coalition as we build programs and partnerships to increase impact in our key service areas focused on reducing food insecurity and food waste, and facilitating access to crisis services.”

Most recently Ray served as the Chief of Strategy and Programs Officer at Saban Community Clinic (SCC) for the past 14 years, honing her expertise in non-profit social services and healthcare. As a volunteer on the Mid-City West Community Council, she also shared her expertise and passion for helping vulnerable populations access basic needs and vital services, leading the council’s annual homeless count for several years (which is where we got to know her).

In a recent interview with the Buzz, Ray said she was excited and honored to be joining Hollywood Food Coalition. She credited Bonanno for her decades of service as a volunteer leader, and more recently the organization’s first salaried Executive Director, for building the organization’s capacity to meet the continually increasing needs of our unhoused neighbors.

“I’ve watched the organization grow by leaps and bounds over the last few years, even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, and I cannot wait to see all that we will accomplish together,” said Ray. “As a daughter of immigrant parents and an experienced non-profit leader, I am extremely committed to helping marginalized communities access basic needs and I will work tirelessly to make sure that we bring food to those who need it.”

HoFoCo was founded in 1987, when a group of volunteers stepped in to help the City of West Hollywood offer unhoused people a simple meal every single day. They started offering sandwiches on a street corner and quickly grew into a nightly hot meal with several options for guests. Currently, a guest can find a selection of soup, casseroles, green salads, fresh fruit, bread, dessert, sandwiches, and beverages. HoFoCo has moved from serving in the streets to an indoor location with the The Salvation Army at The Way In Center on Hollywood Boulevard. They have adapted to the growing demand for their meals.

According to the organization’s website, for the first two decades, HoFoCo served an average of 70 people each night. That number jumped in 2008 and continued to grow steadily. In 2020, it served an average of about 200 meals each night. As the group sees people daily and builds connections, it can also provide access to housing, healthcare and other essential services, as well as basic daily needs such as clothing, backpacks, sleeping bags, and hygiene items for daily survival on the streets.

While the daily dinner is the core of HoFoCo’s program, Ray is excited about its newest undertaking, The Community Exchange. At the onset of the pandemic in 2020, HoFoCo moved quickly to rescue high quality food from businesses and food production facilities and redistribute it to small to medium-sized non-profits around LA County and beyond. To date they it has diverted 3 million pounds of food from landfills to feed hungry people instead.

When restaurants and food service shut down during the lockdown, all the food became available. So HoFoCo stepped up, finding storage and a coordinated system to make it available for small and medium nonprofits, allowing them to take what they wanted. The organization is currently working with  130 nonprofits.

“We started to rescue food so we could give our guests choices. Now we are helping other nonprofits with food rescued from restaurants, craft services from productions,” said Ray. “All that rescued food isn’t going into the landfill, it’s feeding people. We are fixing the problem of food waste and hungry people at the same time.

Ray told the Buzz it was a hard decision to leave her post at the Saban Community Clinic. But after spending 14 years there, she decided she was ready to take on a new challenge. HoFoCo is a great fit, she said, because it allows her to focus on community organizing and builds on her work at Saban Community Clinic to help get people connected to services and back into housing.

“Food is the gateway to all these solutions,” said Ray. “How can we expect people who are hungry manage these big decisions?”

This month, as those of us who are fortunate to be housed and fed celebrate the holidays, it’s a great time to think about giving to those less fortunate.

“We welcome everyone who wants to help,” said Ray. “We accept donations, we welcome people to support our events and to get involved, we are
very reliant on the volunteers. There are lots of lots of ways to get involved, you will learn a lot and give a lot. Every one of our dinner services has a different flavor, it’s really an amazing bonding experience.”

Right now you can help HoFoCo’s Thanksgiving campaign, click for more information.


HoFoCo welcomes volunteers for the Thanksgiving campaign.


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Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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  1. Wonderful news! They could not have picked a better person to lead the organization. Arnali brings people together in a way no one else does. Solutions based, critical thinker. A major asset who will lead HoFoCo to new heights.

    Congratulations Arnali!

    Shelby Blecker


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