Welcome to Westside Food Bank. WSFB was founded nearly forty years ago to serve the food needs of a half-dozen Westside social service agencies. When I became Executive Director in 1989, I could not have imagined that three decades later we would annually be distributing nearly five million pounds of food, half of it fresh produce, to some five dozen local social service agencies. But as the need grew, so did we. With rising rents, cuts to safety net programs, and the high cost of living in the Los Angeles area, local food pantry visits skyrocketed. We have remained steadfast in our commitment to making available, through our member agencies, as much nutritious food as possible for those in need. This principle guided our swift response to COVID-19 in recent months. We are distributing more food than ever to meet the need in our service area.
Our mission is rooted in community. We draw strength from the enduring support of individuals, schools, congregations, businesses, and other community groups. I love seeing staff and volunteers from a wide variety of agencies picking up food from our warehouse, knowing it will soon be in the hands of neighbors in need, typically families hard-pressed by the loss of livelihood — a population now augmented by a growing number of college students and veterans. The strength and generosity of our community is more apparent than ever in the face of a deadly pandemic that threatens the lives of those already facing hunger, homelessness, and chronic health risks.
Today we stand with black Americans and join those who are working toward a future without racism. We remain a beacon of hope and relief for all who need food, regardless of race. We commit to supporting and truly listening to our team members and external partners from diverse backgrounds, and to all of the families and individuals whom our member agencies serve.
We still have a long way to go. Yet I am confident that, together, we will be able to meet these new challenges and continue to serve the Westside in the difficult months ahead. On behalf of our Board, staff, and volunteers at Westside Food Bank, I thank all of you who are helping us to end hunger in our community!