PACIFIC PALISADES—On December 21, Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell held a food distribution event for those in need due to the pandemic for the upcoming holiday season.
Approximately 100 residents pre-registered online and waited in line outside O’Farrell’s field office on Sunset Boulevard in Echo Park. Residents were given bags of food that contained canned goods, vegetables, fruits and eggs. Some families were able to receive gift cards to local grocery stores to purchase more groceries and gifts were given to young children.
The O’Farrell food distribution teamed up with the Salvadoran American Leadership and Educational Fund and Sustainable Economic Enterprises of Los Angeles, to support feeding families this year. It took place within the Hollywood Farmers’ Market and other participating weekly neighborhood farmers markets.
The Salvadoran American Leadership and Educational Fund’s goal is to “promote the civic participation and representation of the Salvadoran and other Latino communities in the U.S., promote the economic development and democracy in El Salvador, as well as to advocate for its economic, educational, and political advancement and growth,” states salef.org website.
“We found our communities are highly impacted by COVID. They are mostly communities of color and immigrant communities, so we want to make sure that they are staying healthy,” said Jocelyn Duarte, executive director of the Salvadoran American Leadership and Educational Fund. “We are providing them with healthy, fresh food. It’s something that is definitely needed in the community. We are seeing at least 100 people every time.”
The Sustainable Economic Enterprises of Los Angeles website indicates that it offers various programs which “enrich lifestyles, help the community and enhance our mission.” “Our commitment to community enrichment is extended through our Pompea Smith Good Cooking Buena Cocina Nutrition Education Program, where we offer nutrition education,” cooking demonstrations and much more.
The objective is to provide individuals with the basics necessities to survive. Each person in line was given enough food for a few days.
“SEE-LA and the participating farmers are grateful to Councilmember O’Farrell and SALEF for the chance to be part of this monthly distribution in CD13, where we have operated farmers’ markets since 1991,” said Stephen Gutwillig, Executive Director. “Since March, SEE-LA has distributed more than 61,000 fresh farm boxes in 150 events across LA County, addressing the twin crises of food insecurity in the community and farm insecurity as scores of family farms in our network face devastating losses from the closure of restaurants and farmers’ markets. Events like this feed needy families and help regional farms replace plummeting wholesale and retail revenue, save countless farm worker jobs, and prevent untold tons of regional fruits and vegetables from going to waste.”
The food distribution will continue assisting those in need every second Friday at 10 a.m. For those wishing to participate need to register online by emailing Julio Ramos at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (213)246-2471.