The Annenberg Foundation’s commitment to serving the underserved in Los Angeles – always an acute area of need, but especially so amidst the COVID-19 pandemic – extends to issues of food security in a time when both financial resources and physical goods are in short supply.
The Foundation is supporting a public-private philanthropic partnership working with the LA County Department of Social Services to help identify Angelenos who may not be aware they are eligible for food through CalFresh. This “heat mapping” project will help families in need get enrolled in the CalFresh program and hopefully ease the unprecedented pressure on LA area food banks, facing a spike in the numbers of hungry people in our region and beyond.
Foundation Chair Wallis Annenberg and Trustee Lauren Bon are supporting the impactful relief efforts of Food Forward Inc. (pictured above), which rescues surplus produce from fruit trees, farmers markets, and the Los Angeles Wholesale Produce Market. These fresh fruits and vegetables are donated to over 1,800 agencies across Southern California. Although COVID-19 has created new challenges for this amazing organization, they have continued to operate with increased safety and hygiene measures, and recently reached their 100 millionth pound of produce.
Trustee Charles Annenberg Weingarten is supporting the emergency food organizations Feeding America, Direct Relief, World Central Kitchen, Westside Food Bank, and The Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles. These outstanding organizations provide emergency food through a network of shelters and food banks, and ensure that elderly community members have access to meals delivered directly to their doorstep during the pandemic.
Lastly, the Foundation worked with the County of Los Angeles to help pass a resolution by LA County Supervisors Janice Hahn and Sheila Kuehl that establishes a cross-sector committee on food insecurity. The Foundation is part of this committee which focuses on identifying the gaps, needs, challenges, and best practices to address – and ultimately eradicate – food insecurity in the Los Angeles region.