Vicky K. Arenas, Director, External Affairs & Communications – The People Concern
Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week originated at Villanova University in 1975 and is co-sponsored by the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness. This year, Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week is November 16-24, 2019.
In Los Angeles County, an estimated 2 million people live with food insecurity and nearly 60,000 people are experiencing homelessness. In the last year, The People Concern provided over 360,000 meals to interim housing program participants throughout L.A. County. The work of our Food Services Department is rooted in the belief that everyone should have the option to eat healthy food. A balanced diet has lasting benefits on participants’ lives and can decrease anxiety, improve physical health and contribute to feelings of happiness. “Food is medicine – we’ve observed people’s health improve as a result of the meals we provide. Being able to put a smile on someone’s face because they are enjoying their meal and not worrying about when they’ll be eat-ing next is an incredible feeling,” notes Chris, Director of Food Services.
We understand that food security and nutrition are important factors for participants’ transitions from the streets to permanent housing – but that housing, first, is essential for finding stability. The solution to homelessness is housing paired with integrated supportive services tailored to the individual’s unique needs; one’s ability to improve their health and wellness is further enhanced once in supportive housing. Related to food access, supportive housing staff help residents identify nearby grocery stores, assist with shopping on a budget and connect residents with wellness opportunities, including nutrition classes.
Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week now brings together nearly 700 communities nation-wide to illuminate the effects of poverty and inequality in our society and to mobilize communities to take action to end hunger and homelessness across the U.S. We are proud of the work that our partners, volunteers, supporters and other community organizations are leading – it really takes all of us – to ensure that everyone in our community is housed, healthy and safe.
Let’s End Hunger and Homelessness, Together!
GATHER 4 HOMES
The People Concern has launched the GATHER 4 HOMES event series held during Hunger and Homelessness Awareness week. GATHER 4 HOMES is an initiative for our community to get involved in the comfort of their homes by coming together with friends and family to enjoy great food and company, while also garnering support for more affordable and supportive housing in our community! To learn more about hosting a GATHER 4 HOMES event benefitting The People Concern, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
FULL PLATES is a fun and amazing way to provide thousands of meals to our neighbors experiencing homelessness. YOU and a group of your friends, colleagues or loved ones can provide 3,675 meals with a contribution of $2,468. Those meals will feed ALL of our program participants on the Westside for a FULL WEEK of daily breakfast, lunch and dinner! Email email@example.com for information.
Our amazing volunteers bring so much joy and compassion to our program participants. From meal services to group activities to Bingo night, we literally couldn’t do the work we do without our volunteers. To learn more about how you can get involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org.