The mission of Hollywood Food Coalition is to feed and serve the immediate needs of the hungry every night of the year so they can build better lives. Our vision is a city where everyone has food, community, and support. For 33 years, we have served ... Read more
The mission of Hollywood Food Coalition is to feed and serve the immediate needs of the hungry every night of the year so they can build better lives. Our vision is a city where everyone has food, community, and support. For 33 years, we have served a hot, nutritious dinner every night of the year to homeless and food insecure individuals. All our food is donated, and we share thousands of pounds of excess food with partner social service organizations all across the city.
We serve upwards of 300+ people dinner every night of the year. Have done for over 30 years. No one is turned away. We get donated food, picked up by volunteer and staff drivers, and because of the Covid-19 outbreak have had to change our model from sit-down dinners indoors to handing out bags of food in "to-go," containers. We also distribute any excess food to other organizations that have no way to access donated food. We PREP the food (main course, (vegan and non) green salads, fruit salads, desserts, soups, drinks, and extra "later on" food...most of our guests are homeless). Then we SERVE the food. WE NEED VOLUNTEERS TO PREP THE FOOD AND SERVE THE FOOD. We provide masks, gloves (changed often), disposable aprons, a brief orientation when you arrive. We sanitize our environment every hour. We are wholly aware for the need of work-place safety so if any volunteer doesn't feel well, we ask them to stay home and come back when they are 100%. We are the only nightly dinner freely served in Hollywood and our guest counts have surged due to the the shutdown of many food stores, restaurants and bars and farmer's markets. WE NEED VOLUNTEERS TO HELP US. We only need 6 to 10 per shift.
Volunteering at Hollywood Food Coalition is enjoyable and fulfilling. Right from my first visit, I found everyone to be friendly and welcoming, and the programs to be well-run with clear goals. Since then, I have returned to volunteer a few times every month. It’s been fun getting to know the other volunteers, but more importantly, it’s been rewarding getting food to the people that need it the most. One additional note: HFC takes ample safety precautions. All volunteers wear masks, sanitize their hands, and maintain a comfortable distance from each other. I have personally been extra cautious throughout the pandemic, and I feel completely safe volunteering here.
There are a ton of ways to get involved: I started volunteering their years ago, making fruit salads and doing general prep work for their amazing nightly meal program. I also helped to serve people in the evening (two separate daily shifts): incredibly satisfying to know that you're playing a role in providing people with what might be their only meal of the day (and knowing that it's a good one). Lately, I've been volunteering at their 2nd space, where all the food they rescue lands, to be sorted, culled and shared all over the city: I'm old, and I don't do a lot of the lifting and etc (great workout for folks who are young), but I help bag bagels, for instance, in smaller parcels (one of the cool things is that HFC figures out how to distribute manageable amounts of food to smaller orgs the can't use a bajillion pounds). Great energy, Maria & Genesis & Krys & Bonnie & Bryan, any one of whom might be kind of in charge, are fun, kind, clear in their instructions - lovely days!
My experience of handing over a plate of food has transformed my life – I would not have thought that it could but it has; as much as helping feed those who stand in line are impacted by the food on their plates, I have been impacted by their stories, the will to survive.
The individuals that line up for a hot meal, a cup of juice, and sweet are not just homeless, drug addicts, or have mental illness, they are also grandmothers/fathers that have very little retirement, teens who have been abused or thrown out, workers who have lost their jobs or are under waged, and now struggling to pay the bills.
Most of us choose to look beyond these individuals but the volunteers that help out can only see the face of humanity looking back at them, saying, “thank you”. I hope that one day I do not have to volunteer my nights anymore because there is plenty of food and shelter for everyone…until then I thank Peggy & Ted and the other volunteers.
I am a volunteer and a neighbor.
In response to one of your very negative reviews, I would like to inform the public that the GWHFC works hard to respect and respond to whatever requests the neighbors have made. The homeless on this food line do not go out and commit crimes after dinner. They help us clean up and go back to living on the streets. They are not criminals. Some of them are mentally ill. Some of them are addicts. Living on the streets is hard. They are courteous to the volunteers, appreciative of the food and human contact, and share with each other when there is little left to go around. If they were not fed and cared for, then they might go off, as would anyone, and commit crimes. But that is not the case. The GWHFC works hard to form a cooperative relationship with the businesses and residents near the corner on which the food line is held. It is a miraculous organization, working on a shoe string , to bring healthy food and kindness to those forgotten and less fortunate than most.
by Chanel B. from Manhattan Beach, CA
(December 25, 2008)
I helped the Food Coalition feed the homeless and hungry when I used to work around the corner from Romaine and Sycamore. It was a well-organized, kind group of people, from Ted and his wife Penny, to the regular volunteers, on down to the UCLA students who came along weekly to help out. The homeless and hungry people who attend these nightly meals are treated with respect and empathy, and in return, many of them show their appreciation by helping to clean up the area afterwards. Yes, as the previous reviewer states, some of them are addicted to drugs, or mentally ill. But understand, this is the 'front line' of Hollywood's destitute, the folks who are down and out and need food and water in order to survive another day. The Food Coalition cheerfully feeds these people hot, healthy meals, when nobody else even wants to look at them.