10/21/2019 – we began serving our neighbors experiencing poverty twice monthly with the LA Food Bank’s Mobile Food Pantry, thanks to a grant for 1.25 years’ operation expenses from the St. Stephens Fund of Bethlehem Lutheran Church-Granada Hills, CA.
3/23/2020 – When other providers in our area shut down their food distribution programs following Safer At Home orders, we continued as the only on-going LA Food Bank program in a 6-mile radius, and ESSENTIAL SERVICE-certified program.
5/4/2020 – we opened WEEKLY Food Distributions, with the help of a grant from LA County Supervisor Sheila Keuhl, plus adding the Drop-Off Food Program from LA Food Bank, and recruitment through Volunteermatch to replace those volunteers no longer able to help us (COVID issues of age, underling conditions, being restricted-access sheltered while experiencing homelessness, etc). We are committed to continue weekly distribution through this year’s end, at a minimum.
6/30/2020 – thanks to a grant from the Loving Our Neighbors fund of the SW California Synod of the ELCA, we purchased a freezer to allow us to receive more donations, and to keep split pallets of frozen food from LA Food Bank deliveries.
CENTRAL is committed to serving Food Distribution weekly through the end of 2020. In November we will be assessing the budget and staffing + volunteer needs for 2021 to decide if we can maintain this or a similar level of service for Van Nuys. The success of our Fund-raising for the Refrigerator will have a direct impact on whether we continue to serve weekly (the extra money needed to act now – to replace the fridge that was leaving – was taken from our on-going service budget).
We are the ONLY WALK-UP Food Distribution happening consistently in our area. Many others offer drive-up pop-up’s but the level of poverty in our community means most families don’t have a car to bring during the day to get food.