The Growth of Food Banks
HOLLYWOOD, CA - A shaky economy and COVID-19 have led people to panic buy the necessities of life. It has resulted in many food products becoming much harder to find. So, food banks are one of the many resources that are popping up throughout Los Angeles. Los Angeles Public County Health Coordinator Artem Ter-Barsegyan said their food drive is fairly recent and they are actively finding ways to feed more people.
The Wilshire Wellness Community focuses on giving people in the community a safe place to get food and to receive treatment. They partnered with the Los Angeles Public Health Department to increase the ways they can better the community.
They have a mental health department, offer clinics and immunizations, along with a substance abuse program. The Wellness Community also gives out cookbooks to people to show them how to make easy meals at home. Health Program Analyst Angela Salazar said this is the most exciting part of her day.
“This provides an opportunity for people who may not have access or the means of their own, so we want to make sure that people are eating as healthy as possible,” said Salazar.
Workers here do not get paid; however, it doesn’t bother them. Music played as workers prepared bags of fresh produce. Ter-Barsegyan said everyone is just happy to leave their houses.
“It’s always a really really you know, amazing experience coming from me and the staff as well all really really love it,” Ter-Barsegyan said.
“Talks have been – is always about how to optimize so for now our capacity is servicing is about 150 people. We want to know can we expand that, can we move up to 200 – 300 people,” said Ter-Barsegyan.
According to feedingamerica.org, food banks are feeding 55% more people than they did before the pandemic. The lack of accessible food is so high that 1 in 8 Americans could face hunger.
The food drive happens every first and third Thursday of each month; it requires each individual to register online before attending. People are eligible for one 20lb bag on a first come first serve basis.
Video credit: Ruby Cordova
Video credit: NBC News
By: Ruby Cordova
Contributions from Feeding America
Video: Ruby Cordova, NBC News
Photo: Ruby Cordova