The Need for the Food Bank ...
Established in 2001, the Valley Food Bank first began operations in North Hollywood at a facility shared with the organization’s thrift store and San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission operations. With the steady growth of all three programs and an increasing demand for food assistance, the Valley Food Bank relocated its operations and warehouse in 2009 to larger facility located in Pacoima, California.
The Valley Food Bank is well positioned to carry out the objectives of its Fighting Hunger – Feeding Hope program. As an outreach of the Rescue Mission Alliance, the Valley Food Bank is backed by an organization with over 43 years of sound fiscal management, continuous growth, experience, and positive client outcomes. It is a member in good standing with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) and "Certified Excellent" through the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions (AGRM).
Valley Food Bank’s affiliations with other food banks, associations, and advocacy groups include Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, the GIK Summit,Los Angeles 3-1-1 hotline for food resources, Los Angeles Coalition to End Hunger and Homelessness, and the California Association of Food Banks. The food bank has participated in several community events such as Albertsons “Dash for Hunger,” the National Letter Carriers Annual Food Drive, the Los Angeles Council Members News Conference on Hunger in the San Fernando Valley, and the Emergency Food and Shelter Program for the City of Los Angeles under the auspices of the United Way of Greater Los Angeles.
The weak economy, double-digit unemployment, and the reduction of government programs have increased the demand for food assistance. The increase primarily represents people who have lost their jobs, their savings, and for some, their homes. Many of the families now served by the 12 food pantries in the Valley Food Bank’s distribution network have never sought assistance before.
Steep job losses in the banking and entertainment industries, on top of the housing downturn, are reverberating particularly hard through the San Fernando Valley. At mild and moderate levels, food insecurity contributes to anxiety and worry, and often results in adjusting the household budget to forego other basic needs in order to make sure that one’s family is fed. Very low food security results in the disruption of eating patterns and reduced food intake. Children in food-insecure households miss more school and do less well in school. Both young children and adolescents experience more emotional problems, and adults in food insecure households experience more anxiety and depression.
Individuals in food-insecure households are more likely than others to put off or omit filling prescriptions for needed medicine or following up on needed medical care. For individuals with chronic illnesses such as diabetes or asthma, this results in increased complications, hospitalizations and emergency room visits. Valley Food Bank’s Fighting Hunger – Feeding Hope program will specifically address hunger and food insecurity by distributing quality, nutritious food to multiple food pantries strategically located in San Fernando Valley communities with the greatest need.