It's that time of year again. As we gather with friends and family, it's important to remember all those struggling to put food on the table or a roof over their heads.
That's why this Thanksgiving, I'm issuing Two Truths and a Challenge:
Truth #1: Over 30% of households in LA County are food insecure.
30.6 percent of households in Los Angeles County were food insecure in 2011 - and the number is rising. This means that in Greater LA, over half a million families aren't always able to put a meal on the table, 1.5 million people don't have enough money to feed themselves, and one in four children go to bed hungry. In short, Los Angeles has the highest number of food insecure people in the United States.
Truth #2: At least 58,000 people in Los Angeles don't have a home.
Los Angeles has more chronically homeless individuals than anywhere else in the country. The number of those experiencing homelessness is growing, with a 23 percent increase in 2016 over 2015. The City and County have made a historic partnership to provide housing and supportive services - but the hungry and homeless can't wait. It's on each one of us to do what we can to help those in need.
That's why I'm issuing the following Challenge:
This year, give hope for the holidays. Do one of these 5 things before the new year to make a difference in your community:
1. Serve meals with Project Angel Food
Project Angel Food in Hollywood cooks and delivers over 11,000 meals every week for those too sick to cook for themselves. Join me at their Vine Street location on Thanksgiving to help prepare meals, or visit their website to find more ways to lend a hand.
2. Volunteer at the Union Rescue Mission Food Bank
The Union Rescue Mission is expecting record crowds this Thanksgiving, and they need help feeding the hungry all year round. Sign up for a volunteer orientation and pitch in. They also accept donations - $2.41 is all it takes to give one hungry person a meal!
3. Salvation Army of Los Angeles
The Salvation Army has volunteer opportunities across Southern California to help the hungry and homeless. You can do outreach on Skidrow, serve meals in Bell and more.
4. Work with the Jewish Family Services of Los Angeles
The Jewish Family Services of LA offers many ways to volunteer. Their SOVA Community Food and Resource Program has locations in Pico-Robertson and the Valley, and they need your help packing groceries, stocking shelves and distributing food. Learn more at their website or by contacting Vicki Gold at (818)789-1293 ext. 309 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. Come to the CD4 Holiday Party and Support our Drive for the Homeless
On December 10 at 4PM, I will be hosting our community holiday party the community room of our Hollywood Office. This year, we're encouraging attendees to join our drive to support homeless women. Visit our website to learn more and RSVP!
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