Councilmember Harris Dawson with LA County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera (Courtesy photo)

COVID-19 has taken an immediate financial toll on the City of Los Angeles. Many families are looking for ways to make ends meet and keep food on the table. Local organizations and elected officials have hit the ground to help residents access the food and resources they need safely. Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson partnered with the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor and the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank to host a drive-through food pantry for more than 5,000 South L.A. Families.

Everyone is impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. This food giveaway brought together essential workers and volunteers from across Los Angeles to support an urgent need. Volunteers from Community Coalition, Community Intervention Workers from the South LA Community Safety Initiative’s partner agencies Developing Options, Ambassadors for Peace & Urban Unity, and Strong Shoulders as well as union members worked together to safely and effectively raise awareness, manage crowds, direct traffic and distribute food, drive-through style to thousands of families. Out of an abundance of safety, individuals were asked to remain in their vehicles. The event attracted  several walkups who shared their contact information and had their food pantry items delivered by Council District 8 staff.

This event was at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza. Cars entered on W. Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, between Marlton Ave & Crenshaw Blvd before lining up in parking spaces to reduce traffic. Even still, the line stretched down Crenshaw and wrapped around the mall. When timed, cars took only 15 minutes to receive their items after entering the plaza. Thanks to the hard work and efficiency of the volunteers and essential workers, the event was able to stay open 2 hours longer and provided meals to twice as many families as initially scheduled.

Councilmember Harris-Dawson was joined by Ron Herrera, President, Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, Armando Olivas, Director, Labor Communities Services, and Michael Flood, President and CEO, Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.

“Families are hurting, we need to do everything we can to help, and a box of groceries can go a long way,” said Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson. “This event represents a true community partnership. I would like to thank Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza for hosting us, as well as the volunteers and our interventionists for doing the work that our community needs at a time like this.”