Hathaway-Sycamores Food Bank Open for Curbside Service

Photos courtesy Hathaway-Sycamores
Hathaway-Sycamores staff member Ivette Uribe distributes donations for families in need.

The Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services food bank has recently reopened for business after initially being closed at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak due to safety concerns for staff members and families.
However, with so many families in the community struggling and dealing with food insecurity, the food bank reopened as quickly and as safely as possible in partnership with the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. As part of the new procedures to ensure everyone’s safety, curbside food pickup is by appointment only. Families who would like to be eligible for the food bank should call (323) 257-9600, ext. 7201.
This unprecedented public health crisis has made families’ daily struggles to meet their basic needs more challenging than ever. In addition to providing food boxes, families often rely on the agency for other necessities, including diapers, wipes, formula, hygiene products, clothing and more. Baby2Baby donated more than 3,000 diapers and pull-ups; 11,000 wipes; and hundreds of containers of formula, shampoo, soap, laundry detergent and other necessities for the families.
A grant from the California Family Resource Association also helped Hathaway-Sycamores provide essential items to more than 1,000 families, including food, household items, clothing, activity supplies, diapers, baby wipes, personal protective equipment and more. The local event venue NOOR recently donated nutritious, immune-boosting soups as part of its Community Soup To-Go program to the young adults in Hathaway-Sycamores Transition Age Youth program.
Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services primarily serves a population of low-income children, young adults and families, including many who are in foster care or are experiencing homelessness. As the current health crisis continues, in addition to providing mental health services, Hathaway-Sycamores is also providing resources and comforts that the children, young adults and families they serve might need outside of normal services. This additional support is made possible by very generous community partners, including the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank; Baby2Baby; the California Family Resource Association; the National Charity League Inc., Glendale Chapter; and other supporters who are helping Hathaway-Sycamores to provide a much-needed safety net to this vulnerable population.
Additionally, many of the children, families, and young adults served by Hathaway-Sycamores lacked the vital technology needed to stay safely connected during the COVID-19 outbreak. Thanks in part to a generous donation from the National Charity League Inc., Glendale Chapter, the agency was able to purchase tablets for clients. The tablets are being used for schoolwork, virtual school, socializing and connecting with Hathaway-Sycamores staff during telehealth sessions.
Hathaway-Sycamores is deeply grateful to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, NOOR, the National Charity League, Baby2Baby and the California Family Resource Association and all of their donors for their generosity and commitment to providing basic necessities for children and families impacted by COVID-19.

Baby2Baby donated supplies for families helped by Hathaway-Sycamores.

After Closing Doors, Noor Offers Free Soup to Seniors

Photo courtesy Noor
Noor staff prepares the distribution of its free, community soup recently. The premier events site is giving away vegetarian, hearty soups every Friday from 3-5 p.m. until it can reopen.

There’s nothing quite like soup for the soul, and during time of quarantine and social isolation, that rings true more than ever, Noor owner Robert Shahnazarian and his wife, Maggie, discovered recently.
The owners of the Pasadena-based premier event and wedding venue were recently faced with the painful task of cancelling all planned celebrations at its site and shutting down operations amid the “Safer at Home” order put in place throughout L.A. County and city of Pasadena. Like many small businesses, Noor had to furlough or lay off some employees until further notice, and that act cut deep.
They still had a large order of food perishables for an upcoming, event-filled weekend — before having to shutter its doors — and Shahnazarian eyed the remainder of his dejected staff, standing idly by. He had heard that seniors in the community, already challenged by isolation, were suffering further from food insecurity and social distancing measures, and not able to find what they needed at the grocers due to the massive hoarding seen the first few weeks of COVID-19 fears.
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Noor Earns Wedding Spot Accolade

Robert Shahnazarian Jr.
Robert Shahnazarian Jr.

Pasadena-based Noor has recently been named by Wedding Spot, a website that networks wedding venues for the benefit of couples planning their nuptials, as a Best of 2017 recipient.
The selections, which are categorized by region (Noor being in Southern California), are based on popularity with the companies’ clients who use the website. Noor joins other locales such as the Grand in Long Beach and Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica.
“To be recognized for your work is always a huge honor,” said Robert Shahnazarian Jr., owner and operator of Noor. “We’re surrounded by these hundred-year-old brand names.”
Shahnazarian said among other things, he feels couples appreciate his company’s forwardness with pricing — all calculations include the various fees that come with everything.
“People appreciate it,” he said. “It’s risky in one sense, but we try to make it as clear as possible.”
Wedding Spot touted Noor for its elegant facilities that include majestic views of Pasadena City Hall and the San Gabriel Mountain range, located in historic Old Pasadena. Shahnazarian said he started his business around eight years ago, post-recession, and has produced 1,500-2,000 events with a staff of around 40 employees.
“It’s starting to make me think I have to open up another location,” he said on receiving the accolade.
Shahnazarian explained the name “Noor” has a double meaning — in Armenian, it means pomegranate, which represents the idea of fertility and abundance, whereas in Farsi, Arabic and Hindi, it translates as light or illumination.
“This is someone’s most important day, and it’s our job to bring the families together,” he said.
— Zane Hill