Teen Swims 25 Miles Today for Local Charity

Photo courtesy Edie Markovich
Edie Markovich, pictured here during her aquatic trek around Coronado Island in October, is swimming 25 miles at the Verdugo Aquatic Facility today to raise donations for local food banks.

The first and last two hours of the swim are the hardest, according to Edie Markovich. Other than those, there are another eight hours of near-constant movement. “Low-key,” she calls it.
The “low-key” event, “Outswimming Hunger,” features the 15-year-old college student swimming 25 miles at the Verdugo Aquatic Facility today, from 5:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. In the first charity-related swim event she’s held, Markovich is asking people to bring non-perishable, packaged food to the pool deck; donations will later be sent to the Burbank Temporary Aid Center.
She’s also accepting monetary donations online, which will be relayed to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. Some donors will also swim in a lane near Edie as she makes her laps.
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Food Bank Struggles to Fill Shelves as Hunger Spreads

By Nina Aghadjanian
Glendale News-Press

Photo courtesy Lisette Reyes
Lisette Reyes (right), a case manager at Loaves & Fishes Glendale food pantry, said her agency relies on the L.A. Regional Food Bank to feed its many clients and families.

After nine months of COVID-19 and a third wave underway, the need for food assistance has reached unprecedented levels, sending Los Angeles County into the throes of the one of the worst food crises in modern history.
Today, nearly 3 million Angelenos don’t know where their next meal is coming from. The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank is working to meet the heightened demand, having distributed 143 million pounds of food, or 118 million meals, since March — a 145% increase compared to the pre-pandemic period.
“You can just see the worry on people’s faces when they come by; they’re concerned and understandably so,” said Michael Flood, the food bank’s chief executive.
“Given all the uncertainty, they don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, next week or next month. So it’s been really rewarding to see the appreciation people have for our service.”
A report from the Urban Institute shows that food insecurity was the most commonly reported hardship in the early weeks of the pandemic. The situation has only worsened. To put things into perspective, Flood’s organization provided food to 300,000 people monthly before the pandemic. That number has since tripled.

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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.

Aid Center Responds to ‘Tsunami’ of Need Amid Crisis

Photos by David Laurell / Burbank Leader
Volunteer Bunny Vitale and Congressman Adam Schiff fill bags with food items during his visit to Burbank Temporary Aid Center.

This past Tuesday afternoon, a maroon-colored compact car pulled up in the parking lot behind the Burbank Temporary Aid Center. Adjusting his mask into place, the casually dressed driver got out and opened the back door, revealing bags and boxes of food items.
Moments later, after unloading his haul into a shopping cart, the man pushed it to the donation receiving area where he was greeted by BTAC Executive Director Barbara Howell; Roger Koll, who serves as the president of the nonprofit organization’s board; and Michael Flood, president and CEO of the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.
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Tournament of Roses’ Donation to Assist Pasadena Agencies

The Pasadena Tournament of Roses announced on Monday that it will make a $100,000 donation in support of local COVID-19 relief efforts in the Pasadena community.
All funds will go to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, the largest food provider and distributor to food banks and pantries across Los Angeles County, according to the Tournament. Specifically, the Tournament’s donation will be used to support the nine Pasadena food providers affiliated with the Food Bank. Working through their local providers, the Food Bank is able to provide four meals for every $1 donated. The Pasadena partner agencies provide food to anyone in need and include Friends In Deed, The Salvation Army, Foothill Unity Center and others. Continue reading “Tournament of Roses’ Donation to Assist Pasadena Agencies”

Idealab Hatches Plan to Feed Families in Need, Bolster Restaurants

The Idealab team, including Managing Directors Tom McGovern and Alex Maleki, has launched a donation drive to feed families in need by ordering through local restaurants.

When Idealab Managing Directors Alex Maleki and Tom McGovern recently heard that Friends In Deed was going to close its food pantry for up to two weeks, putting the local families who depend on its kitchen staples at risk of hunger, they put their heads together.
As if the coronavirus pandemic and its wake of economic ruin wasn’t already bad enough for those left unemployed — many from the restaurant or services sector — but now a local food pantry providing basic dietary needs had to close after an employee exhibited signs of falling ill with COVID-19.
In a serendipitous moment, the Idealab partners lamented about the fate of their favorite Old Town Pasadena eateries, also standing idle due to the “Safer at Home” order that bans public gatherings. What if they helped out one of their longtime favorites, the Kitchen Italian Café and Pizzeria, by ordering a bunch of pizzas and delivering them to the hungry clientele families at Friends In Deed? Wait, what if everybody who could, did the same? Continue reading “Idealab Hatches Plan to Feed Families in Need, Bolster Restaurants”