It was a slight taste of normal on a sunny day in the City of West Hollywood this past Saturday, March 6, 2021. City officials joined city staff and community members for a day of service by providing meals for people in need during a free drive-thru food giveaway event on San Vicente Boulevard, in front of WeHo Park. The City partnered with the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank and Los Angeles Supervisor, Sheila Kuehl’s office for an event that ran from 9:30 a.m., to 12:30 p.m.
The west side of San Vicente Boulevard was closed off to moving traffic in front of WeHo Park. Volunteers directed vehicles to make sure there were no traffic jams on Santa Monica Boulevard. The process ran smoothly with two check in stations. Cars drove next to city tents where volunteers stood by. Six pick-up stations had pallets stacked with boxes of free food. Each car drove up to one of the stations and was given two boxes of food. Masked volunteers would either load the boxes into the trunk of cars, or to the back seat at the request of the drivers.
“As we hopefully move to time of transitioning, toward recovery of COVID-19, we realize that many people are still really hurting and really struggling,” West Hollywood Mayor Lindsey Horvath told WEHO TIMES. “It’s really important to make this opportunity available for people who need food and to help them to continue to get through this crisis. It’s a beautiful show of community. We have city staff members and we have commissioners and residents who have shown up to volunteer their time. It’s the best of West Hollywood, showing up to take care of those in need.”
The city asked for 500 boxes of food, but they were given 800 boxes to distribute to anyone who registered regardless of the economic status. It was not mandatory to pre-register and people also had the option to walk up during the event. The boxes contained canned goods, pasta, tomato sauce, tuna, oats, and milk.
“The event is great,” said council member John Erickson at the event. “It is well organized. There has been a steady stream of cars all morning long. This is such an important event because so many people right now are facing so many issues, but food insecurity is something where we always want to make sure people are fed and healthy. This event has no income requirement, so anyone can sign up and get food. Many people feel the shame and stigma of singing up to ask for something like this, but we’re here to help and happy to provide something like this. People helping out is what makes West Hollywood, West Hollywood. This is who we are as a city. We’re out here helping out our residents and helping our community. It’s also nice to see some people in the flesh.”
Council member Erickson also stated that the city is delivering meals to those who don’t have a car or can’t drive to the event. He said they reached out to elder housing groups and spread the word to community members who were not able to make it on that Saturday afternoon. He said he’d personally deliver food on Sunday.
The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank has mobilized resources to help people who are in need of food assistance throughout Los Angeles County. Community support enables the Food Bank to serve more than 300,000 people every month. Approximately one-quarter of food goes to children, and roughly one-fifth ends up in the hands of older adults. The majority of their food goes to low-income families and individuals who sometimes struggle to make ends meet.
For more information visit: https://www.lafoodbank.org