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Organization Information

Foodbank of Southern California


Provides humanitarian food distribution to an average of 850,000 low-income children, families, and seniors per year throughout Los Angeles County.

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Success Story

Cecilia, age 83, lives in senior housing in Long Beach, and has a studio apartment. While being a life-long low-wage earner, she worked past her full retirement age, so that she could maintain a semblance of the golden years she had yearned for. At age 76, after 40+ years working as a restaurant hostess and cashier, she was forced into retirement due to advanced arthritis in her hands and feet. Cecilia, is totally broke, spending down her meager nest egg in 5 years. She relies on social security, and subsidized housing. She has a limited food budget that includes $147/month in SNAP (food stamps) benefits. There is no extra money, and she lives a bare-bones existence. “I have a lot of guilt and shame for not having planned well. It kills me when I look in the refrigerator and cupboards, and nothing is there,” she said.  

Fortunately, Cecilia lives in a neighborhood that has resources to help her out. She takes a shuttle to the Senior Center and participates in the bi-weekly Brown Bag program. For the program Cecilia volunteers at the check-in desk, where she greets and chats with participants. She takes home items such as fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grain cereal, nuts, canned fish or chicken, eggs, pasta, crackers, rice, beans, and other staples. “Recently, I obtained enough food to make a pot of pheasant soup, to have throughout the week,” she commented. “That simple pot of soup gave me so much joy, I still love to cook, and the food I receive lets me cook from scratch.”