Supporting Your Local Food Bank

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Bill Rosendahl

Just in from Bill Rosendahl’s office:

Councilmember Bill Rosendahl is calling on residents and business owners to embrace the holiday season by supporting a local food bank and helping the two emergency winter shelters serving the Westside’s homeless population.

Rosendahl is joining an effort launched by the President-elect Barack Obama to adopt a local food bank. His field offices will serve as drop-off locations for donations to the Westside Food Bank.

Rosendahl also urged people to support the local winters shelters, based at federal armories in West Los Angeles and Culver City. The facilities need volunteers and donations of food, clothing, and other supplies as well as monetary donations.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for Westside residents to show their hearts and contribute positively to the community,” Rosendahl said. “We have the ability and the responsibility to share some of our blessings.”

As part of an effort launched by Obama, residents throughout California are adopting local food banks and making donations this weekend. The Westside Food Bank supplies food to the food assistance programs of social service agencies in Santa Monica, Venice, Culver City, West Los Angeles, West Hollywood, Inglewood, and the LAX area.

Rosendahl said residents can drop off donations (a list of requested items is below) between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. any day this week at either of his field offices: 7166 W. Manchester Avenue in Westchester, or 1645 Corinth Ave., #201, in West LA. Items can also be left on the front porch of a private home in Venice at 758 Palms Boulevard.

Rosendahl is also reminding residents of the needs of the two local winter shelters for the homeless.

Through a combination of funding sources, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority has contracted with EIMAGO, a social service agency affiliated with the Union Rescue Mission, to operate two emergency shelters on the Westside through March. The two facilities provide shelter for an average of 310 people per night.

Rosendahl, said addressing homelessness will require a holistic approach – from elected officials, and from the community.

“As elected officials, my colleagues and I need to make sure that the people who seek shelter get shelter, but also get connected to health care, social services, and job opportunities. At the same time, members of the community can help the winter shelter program and other local service agencies. This needs to be the work not just of a government agency, but of our community.”

Due to a funding shortfall and other issues, the Westside Winter Shelter Program, which has operated since 1989, was almost eliminated last year. Rosendahl, Councilwoman Jan Perry, Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, and the Westside Shelter & Hunger Coalition intervened, secured funding, and found a new operator.

To volunteer at or to donate to either shelter, please contact Danny Lewis for West Los Angeles at (213) 435-4052 or Damu Courtney for Culver City at (213) 435-4024.

Requested Items for the Westside Food Bank:
Cans of: tuna, vegetables, and soup; fruits and fruit Juices; pork & beans; stews & other meats; pasta, lentils, pinto and other beans; macaroni & cheese & packaged dinners; instant soups; hot and cold cereals; peanut butter & other nut butters; baby foods are also urgently needed.
Blankets and travel size sundries, such as shampoo, conditioner, soap, bath & shower gel; toothpaste and toothbrushes

Requested Items for the Emergency Shelter:
Volunteers to serve dinner
Desserts, fresh fruit, snacks
Paper plates, napkins, plastic utensils and cups, backpacks, umbrellas, socks, clothing, blankets, ball-caps, feminine hygiene products, and toiletries
Individuals or group organizations that could provide fun activities and entertainment such as karaoke and BINGO are also encouraged to participate.

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