live / 2020
Hollywood Food Coalition "Food Hub"
The Hollywood Food Coalition has been addressing food insecurity for 33 years by providing hot, nutritious meals to the hungry and homeless every night of the year. Our food recovery program now rescues more food then we can serve - up to 6,000 pounds a week - and we share this food with fellow social service agencies that need help with their own food programs. We want to expand by building L.A.’s first “Food Hub”, designed to better connect excess food with hungry Angelenos in need.
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
- County of Los Angeles
In what stage of innovation is this project?Expand existing program
Please list the organizations collaborating on this proposal.
- Alexandria House
- Blessed Sacrament
- Carson Victory Outreach
- Cochran Baptist Church
- Downtown Victory Outreach
- Dream Center
- Eagle Rock Victory Outreach
- Reseda Victory Outreach
- San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission
- Hollywood Silvercrest Senior Housing
- Trinity Lutheran Church
- Van Ness Recovery House
- Village Family Services
- Fox/ABC (Modern Family)
- Fox/ABC (Fresh off the Boat)
- Canyon Partners
- Panda Express
- Coffee Commisary
- Lawry's Prime Rib
- Canter's Deli
- Whole Foods
- Trader Joe's
If you are submitting a collaborative proposal, please describe the specific role of partner organizations in the project.
Partners not only play a role in our project, they are our project. Our partners are our clients, the hundreds of donors who share food, and the raft of recipient organizations (20, approximately, as of this writing). Restaurants, grocery stories, farmer’s markets: nobody wants to throw out food. What potential donors lack is a reliable partner, an organization with a well run, well directed volunteer base who can be counted on to pick up food at the appropriate time and location, transport it to a facility for sorting, and then deliver it to one of a network of agencies who will make immediate use of it. We are that solution. This is what we have been doing for years, with a proven track record, and we are ready to go big. We thank you for supporting the Hollywood Food Coalition.
What is the need you’re responding to?
Over 11% of the people living in Los Angeles county are food insecure. Well over one million of our neighbors do not know where their next meal is coming from: this is the largest ‘food insecure’ population in the U.S. Structural economic disparities push people into poverty. Wages have remained stagnant for decades, while the cost of housing, food, and medical care have skyrocketed. The result is that the nation’s western breadbasket sees many of its own citizens go to bed hungry. To make matters worse, more than a third of the food in this country is thrown out. This food ends up in landfills where it releases methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. The fact that Los Angeles faces problems of both food waste and food insecurity is tragic, but it is a problem that can be solved: the HFC has created, and hopes to expand, mechanisms to address all aspects of the problem.
Why is this project important to the work of your organization?
Solving the problems of food waste and food insecurity is what we have done since inception. In l987 we started serving people in need sandwiches. Within a few years we grew into a meal service agency that now serves over 50,000 hot meals annually. All our food is donated from grocery stores, restaurants, farmer’s markets, and TV/film productions. We rescue up to 6,000 pounds of food a week - in excess of our needs - and we share our surplus with fellow social service agencies that don’t have funds for their own meal programs. We often hear from them that the food we provide helps their client’s dig into the work of ‘getting better’. For battered women, at risk teens, recovering alcoholics, ‘recovery’ is not possible when you are hungry. We possess the knowledge, the relationships, the volunteer base, and an understanding of the logistical challenges needed to create LA’s first “Food Hub”: where food can be stored, repackaged, repurposed and ultimately shared throughout LA.
Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?
- Direct impact
- Indirect impact
Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.
We believe in building coalitions, first and foremost, and we believe food is a critical medium through which coalitions can be built. We are invested in helping other Not For Profit organizations achieve their missions by ensuring that they are providing their clients with access to good food. We see ourselves as integral to the re-construction of a badly tattered social safety net. We believe that everyone in Los Angeles can lead a dignified, joyful life if they are well fed. We believe that no food should end up in landfills and that food rescue is an integral part of a solution to the problem of global warming. Bottom line: we believe that everyone should always have access to delicious, healthy food.
Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.
We will measure success by how much food we collect and how much we distribute. Our goal is to triple the amount of food we rescue and share to 18,000 pounds a week by July 2021. Securing a facility separate from our existing kitchen, with dramatically expanded storage space, will be a key first step towards the creation of our ‘Food Hub.” Additionally, while we have over 40 available volunteers (“Pickup Artists”), as well as paid drivers, all poised every day to rescue food, we lack the organizational infrastructure to expand this program (which involves recruiting, training, and ‘dispatching’ food procurement and rescue teams, dealing with complexities of scheduling, etc.) . Building our capacity requires us to professionalize our program by hiring our first Director of Food Procurement (who would also be tasked with the job of locating additional sources for food, and introducing these donors to our program). Finally, we lack a refrigerated truck, which dramatically limits our ability to travel ‘far afield’ to rescue and share food (for fear of food spoilage): adding such a vehicle to our ‘fleet’ would go a long way towards expanding the scope, scale, and thus the success, of our efforts. Our vision of success is ambitious: success, for us, means that nobody goes hungry in the city of Los Angeles. Success would mean replicating our ‘hub’ model, in community after community after community, until our entire city’s food needs are met.
Which of the live metrics will your submission impact?
- Access to healthy food
- Food insecurity
Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?
- Access to the LA2050 community
- Host public events or gatherings
- Communications support
- Office space for meetings, events, or for staff
- Capacity, including staff
- Strategy assistance and implementation