Yesterday, I mentioned the problems Los Angeles food banks are having this year with warehouse shortages and budget cuts. The SOVA Community Food & Resource Program in Van Nuys is one in particular that is having trouble providing for several thousand families that it serves each month.
So, last night, I decided to see how much each of us could help with one twenty dollar bill at the grocery store.
4 cans 24oz beef stew $3.96
6 jars 18oz peanut butter $7.50
8 cans 15oz chili $7.92
Total Cost $19.38
I stopped by SOVA during lunch to drop off my 2 bags worth of food. I left with a grand tour of the whole facility. Leslie Friedman and Fred Summers were great hosts, and they explained the whole process. Some things I learned:
* SOVA will help any family, regardless of where you live, no questions asked
* They provide food for children, families, the homeless, the elderly, the disabled, HIV-infected
* They stock Kosher foods and low-sodium products
* There is a special foods rack to choose from, filled with items you and I might buy at Trader Joe’s and never use
* They provide additional services such as health care and job assistance
* 1/3 of all food is acquired through private donations
* Government funding is down to 1/3 of what it was 5 years ago
* The number of needy families has more than doubled
One person is typically given about 15lbs. of food. This one donation weighed 20.25lbs.
Now one more person can eat.
Check out more of the $20 project here.