FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
“In This Together” COVID-19 Emergency Response Program Bridges Food Equity Gap with 9 Local Food Pantries to Serve Long Beach’s Most Vulnerable Communities
Long Beach Center for Economic Inclusion Focuses on Food Security During Pandemic with Food Pantry Program Underwritten by Bridge Development Partners, in Partnership with the Office of Long Beach Councilmember Rex Richardson and Food Finders
Long Beach—–May 11, 2020—–Nine food pantries will be opened across Long Beach beginning Monday, May 11th, as part of the “In This Together Long Beach” emergency response initiative of the Long Beach Center for Economic Inclusion (LBCEI), in partnership with the Office of Councilmember Rex Richardson and Food Finders. This food security program is one of the four #InThisTogetherLB initiatives LBCEI has launched during the pandemic to help meet the needs of under-served individuals and families in the community, made possible with funding from Bridge Development Partners, Wells Fargo and the City of Long Beach. Additional funding partners include United Way and the Long Beach Community Foundation Disaster Relief Fund.
In a time when a number of food pantries have closed, some due to the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak, families financially challenged during the pandemic have had limited access to fresh, healthy food. This food pantry program will make food easily accessible in neighborhoods with greatest need. The program will also engage the faith community and local nonprofits to set up food pantries within Long Beach neighborhoods. Nine churches and nonprofit partners will support expanded food access in North, Central, West, and Downtown Long Beach neighborhoods. Councilmember Mary Zendejas and Councilmember Roberto Uranga assisted in the initiative by recommending partner organizations who serve their neighborhoods. Each partnering organization will operate a food pantry with weekly distributions to the community. Additionally, some locations will offer other food services, such as to-go meals.
Pantry hours and locations include:
NORTH LONG BEACH:
- Pools of Hope – Thursdays from 2pm-4pm and Saturdays from 11am-1pm at 6801 Long Beach Boulevard
- Church One Ministries – Mondays-Fridays from 11am-1pm at 700 70th Street
- Light and Life Christian Fellowship – Mondays from 12pm-1pm at 5951 Downey Avenue
- North Long Beach Prayer Center – Fridays from 7am-1:30pm at 5239 Atlantic Avenue
CENTRAL LONG BEACH:
- Grant A.M.E. Church – Wednesdays from 9am-2pm at 1129 Alamitos Avenue
WEST LONG BEACH:
- Fountain of Life Covenant Church – Thursdays from 9am-3pm at 2060 Santa Fe Avenue
DOWNTOWN LONG BEACH:
- Urban Community Outreach* – Sundays from 1:30-3pm at 241 Cedar Avenue
- Christian Outreach in Action* – Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9am-12pm at 515 E 3rd Street
*To-Go meals are also offered at this site
LBCEI is collaborating with Food Finders to stock each pantry with fresh and frozen produce, protein sources and meat, shelf-stable foods, and dried goods. Food Finders expects to provide three million more pounds of food to people in need in the Southern California area this year, as compared to last year, in response to pandemic needs.
Food Finders Executive Director Diana Lara said, “We are very excited to help add additional pantries in much needed areas in Long Beach. We will provide as much nonperishable and perishable food as we can for these pantries so they can help residents that live in food desert areas that don’t have grocery stores nearby.”
“It’s always a pleasure to team up with our 9th District Councilman Richardson and community partners in meeting the needs of our citizens,” expressed Bishop W. Todd Ervin Sr. of Church One Ministries. “It’s an opportunity for us to exemplify ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
“By working with local churches and trusted community organizations, we have established and expanded a network of food pantries across North, West, Central, and Downtown Long Beach to support vulnerable families during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said 9th District Councilmember Rex Richardson. “Special thanks to the leadership of Food Finders and Long Beach Center for Economic Inclusion.”
Anyone can make a donation of food items at Food Finders at 10539 Humboldt Street in Los Alamitos between 8am-5pm, Monday to Friday. People interested in volunteering can visit their web site www.foodfinders.org or find their Volunteer App on any mobile phone app store.
Residents are invited to utilize their local food pantry and to share information with neighbors in need. People can learn more about the #InThisTogetherLB response at lbcei.org/inthistogether.
About the Long Beach Center for Economic Inclusion (LBCEI)
The Long Beach Center for Economic Inclusion (LBCEI) is a new nonprofit Community Development Corporation (CDC) with a mission to expand inclusive economic opportunities to build and sustain wealth for all communities in Long Beach. We envision a Long Beach where entrepreneurs, youth, workers, and individuals have the tools and opportunities to successfully build vibrant neighborhoods, successful businesses, and healthy, resilient families. Our programs focus on entrepreneurship and small business support, workforce and youth development, affordable housing and homeownership, economic resiliency/connectedness.
Web Site: lbcei.org
Social: Facebook: @lbeconomicinclusion / Twitter: @lb_cei / Instagram: @lbeconomicinclusion / #inthistogether
About Food Finders
Food Finders is a nonprofit organization with the mission to eliminate hunger and food waste, while improving nutrition in food insecure communities. The organization is a 501(c)3 food rescue organization that connects donated perishable food to hundreds of nonprofit pantries and shelters throughout Southern California in order to reduce hunger and food waste, simultaneously. www.foodfinders.org
- Jeff Williams, LBCEI Interim Director at [email protected] or 562.336.1833 -or-
- Melissa Morgan, Communications Lead at 515.999.6356
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