Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, LARFB, was started by the late Tony Collier, a cook who saw food going to waste and began collecting it to distribute to people in need. After a motorcycle trip to visit the nation’s only food bank (at the time) in Phoenix, he launched the local program with an old pick-up truck, storing food in the garage of his Pasadena home.
Today, the Food Bank – the second oldest in the nation – distributes 1 million pounds of food every week, enough for 830,000 meals. It serves all of L.A. County, 4,000 square miles with the largest population of any county in the nation. One out of every six people in L.A. County experiences hunger and, to date, the Food Bank has served more than 1 billion pounds of food through 653 agencies & 1,078 distribution sites. But another 600 agencies are on a waiting list … and they conservatively estimate another 700,000 people are food challenged and not receiving help.
The face of hunger in L.A. has changed and is not predominantly the homeless … It’s people who thought they would never stand in a food line (Some have even donated their time and money to the cause in the past). While people focus on the issue of hunger during the holidays, it’s important to realize it’s a year ‘round issue and focus on the “Power of One” in effecting change. And it’s not just concentrated in the most obvious neighborhoods if you look at our map of distribution centers. We challenge L.A. residents to just do one thing and have come up with 40 things individuals can do to help (attached).