Why some L.A. food banks are handing out Thanksgiving chickens this year

Some Los Angeles food banks are so hard up this holiday season that they’re handing out Thanksgiving chickens instead of turkeys because of an economic crunch that is expected to continue straight through Christmas and into the new year.

Kenny Jones, director of People for Community Improvement, said he had no choice but to make the poultry swap at the nonprofit’s food bank in Willowbrook in the face of rising inflation and increased need since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

“We did a chicken pass-out last Thursday because we couldn’t afford the turkeys,” he said earlier this week. “We’ve seen more people come out this year, and we’ve just got to get more donations and help. … Everything has gone up — the food, the gas, the utilities, the insurance.”

These are common sentiments among those who work to provide food and other essentials to low-income Angelenos. Some report a falloff in donations of food and funds. Others, like Jones, say they don’t have enough volunteers to keep running smoothly during the busy holiday season.

why some l.a. food banks are handing out thanksgiving chickens this year
Saadia Jackson holds her free turkey while waiting in line for a bag of fixings at the 37th Turkey Giveaway by Sweet Alice Harris and her Parents of Watts organization on Saturday. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

They all say they’re feeling the pinch this winter. For small, independently operated food banks, that can mean giving out lighter bags or even shutting down entirely. For some organizations that have managed to meet much of the need in their communities, it has meant offering less-traditional holiday food options.

Every Tuesday afternoon, Unity Fellowship of Christ Church Los Angeles distributes food to dozens of people who line up under a sign with the words “Love is for everyone” in black block lettering.

Two days before Thanksgiving, minister Art Miller, the coordinator of the church’s food pantry, oversaw a small team of volunteers who handed out pasta, stuffing, canned vegetables and fruit outside its modest storefront in West Adams.

In anticipation of Thanksgiving, Miller said the food bank had hoped to give out turkeys, as it’s done annually since it opened seven years ago. But it receives food from the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, which has distributed thousands fewer turkeys to food banks this month than in past Novembers.

why some l.a. food banks are handing out thanksgiving chickens this year
Volunteers Kirk Hill, from left, and Kimberley Coleman, and minister Art Miller of Unity Fellowship of Christ Church Los Angeles, sort inventory at the church’s food bank in Willowbrook on Tuesday.(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

As a result, many of the people relying on the bags of food they picked up Tuesday at the West Adams food bank will instead serve chicken or fish for their Thanksgiving meals.

That’s fine by Monique Smith, who lives nearby and said she has been visiting the food bank for two years. On Tuesday, the 51-year-old tucked plastic grocery bags weighed down with cans and boxes into a pink patterned roller bag she had dragged to the distribution table after the line died down.

“I’m low on food and day after tomorrow’s Thanksgiving,” she said. “I don’t know what I’d do without this.”

Michael Flood, chief executive of the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, said it is feeding more than 800,000 hungry Angelenos monthly — down from a peak of more than 1 million per month early in the pandemic. The nonprofit distributes food directly to people and to more than 600 food banks and pantries, churches and other nonprofits across L.A. County.

But Flood said that, for his organization, it’s a “constant struggle to try to meet the overall need and the overall demand for food,” especially given steep inflation and sustained demand in recent months. The avian flu outbreak, which contributed to the lower availability of turkeys nationwide , and food supply chain issues have made it harder for the organization to source certain foods.

why some l.a. food banks are handing out thanksgiving chickens this year
Anthony Daniel, right, leaves with bags of food during a distribution at Unity Fellowship of Christ Church Los Angeles in Willowbrook on Nov. 22.(Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times)

It was able to obtain only five truckloads of turkeys during the lead-up to this Thanksgiving, versus the 10 or so it has purchased in previous years, Flood said.

“This year, the supply is less,” he said. “We’ve been purchasing truckloads of frozen chicken so there can be at least some meat protein option for families celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday.”

Food donations have also dropped at L.A. County’s Aging & Disabilities Department facilities. A spokeswoman for the department said the number of people needing food at many of its community and senior centers has increased over the last year. At the same time, she said, many of the centers are still receiving fewer food donations than they did before the pandemic, a decrease some have chalked up to inflation.

During the pandemic, more than one-fifth of Californians faced food insecurity daily, according to researchers at Northwestern University.

Statewide, before COVID-19 disrupted millions of residents’ livelihoods, more than 15% of households with children experienced food insecurity. That figure nearly doubled in the early days of the pandemic, according to the California Assn. of Food Banks.

The state has provided hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for food banks over the last decade. In the 2022-23 state budget Gov. Gavin Newsom signed in June, more than $100 million was allocated to support food banks. Companies, foundations and individuals donate millions of dollars to L.A. County food banks each year.

But the need for nutritional food in this city is often simply too high. These are lean times for many food banks and pantries.

People for Community Improvement provides bags of food to hundreds of families each week. Jones, the group’s director, said its food bank is still trying to recover from the economic effects of COVID-19.

“Since the pandemic, it’s been really hard to get back going. That’s the hard part. Before the pandemic we had eight people, and now we’re down to three [workers] so that’s been a struggle,” he said. “We don’t have to turn people away. … But it’s been pretty hectic.”

why some l.a. food banks are handing out thanksgiving chickens this year
Volunteer Morice Jones prepares bags of food during a distribution at the food bank at Unity Fellowship of Christ Church Los Angeles in Willowbrook on Tuesday.(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Morice Jones, a volunteer at Unity Fellowship of Christ Church’s food bank, kept the dry goods distribution table moving this week.

“You can have another mac and cheese,” he told an older woman with a walker as she turned to leave with less than her allotted amount. “Go ahead.”

He said one reason the holidays are so busy for food banks is because of the added pressure and expenses that the season brings.

“I feel like a lot of people come forward at this time of year because they may not otherwise want to admit that they need help,” he said. “But sometimes at the holidays is when they let their pride go because they don’t want to let down their families.”

Outside the West Adams church a few minutes later, Mark Darby held bags of groceries from its food bank and listened to music on tiny earbuds as he waited for a ride home.

He and his disabled brother have relied on food banks for years, the 59-year-old said, but their need grew during the pandemic as their monthly housing, utilities and food costs swiftly rose. Rising inflation has only made their circumstances more difficult.

“We pay an enormous amount for rent and when we get through, we’re broke. That leaves very little for vittles,” he said. “But I’m blessed, I’m getting through. With the help of food banks, the cupboards are never bare.”

News Related

OTHER NEWS

Beachside gem is steps to the ocean and river

The time couldn’t be better for making this two-bedroom, two-bath, one-car-garage beachside home your own. Just steps from the Intracoastal Waterway and the ocean, it has a new listing price ... Read more »

USMNT legend Eric Wynalda claims 'rift' between Gregg Berhalter & Gio Reyna

Reyna has played just seven minutes at the World Cup so far. | Stu Forster/GettyImages United States Men’s National Team legend and media analyst Eric Wynalda has suggested a ‘rift’ ... Read more »

Thousands strip for art and cancer awareness on Sydney's Bondi beach

SYDNEY – Thousands stripped naked on Sydney’s iconic Bondi beach on Saturday for an art installation aimed at raising awareness about skin cancer and sun safety. The famous surf strand ... Read more »

Holiday shoppers say Apple's latest iPhones missing from stores

Newest Apple smartphones out of stock at company stores Read more »

Where You've Seen The Flanaverse Cast Before

Featureflash Photo Agency/Shutterstock Certain directors are known for working with the same people or groups of people in their projects. Be it that the director is married to an actor, ... Read more »

When Mark Cuban Bought the Dallas Mavericks, He Refused an Office Or Big Desk—Here's Why

Most newly appointed bosses get the big corner office when they take over companies. But when Mark Cuban bought the Dallas Mavericks for $285 million in January 2000, he didn’t ... Read more »

Suspect sought after shooting inside N. Carolina Walmart on Black Friday

A manhunt was underway on Saturday for the person who opened fire inside a North Carolina Walmart on one of the busiest shopping days of the year. Gunfire broke out ... Read more »

JUSTICE STORY: Who killed a teenage girl dumped in a cemetery?

Buster Devins, the caretaker of the Oak Park cemetery near Chandler, Okla., was mowing grass on Aug. 18, 1941, when he spotted a foot, clad in a blue anklet, poking ... Read more »

Gift Guide 2022: Holiday Shopping in New York

The Met Store's Currier & Ives: Central Park Skating Pond Puzzle If you adore a good puzzle, this charming addition will be the holiday highlight of your collection. While enjoying ... Read more »

England vs. USA in FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

USA’s forward Christian Pulisic, #10, gestures during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between England and USA at the Al-Bayt Stadium in Al Khor on Nov. 25, ... Read more »

China’s Xinjiang loosens some ‘zero-COVID’ restrictions after lockdown protests

Authorities in China’s western Xinjiang region opened up some neighborhoods in the capital of Urumqi on Saturday after residents held extraordinary late-night demonstrations against the city’s draconian “zero-COVID” lockdown that had ... Read more »

American shoppers spent a record US$9B online on Black Friday despite inflation: report

U.S. shoppers spent a record $9.12 billion online this Black Friday, a report showed on Saturday, as consumers weathered the squeeze from high inflation and grabbed steep discounts on everything ... Read more »

Taiwan's president resigns as party leader after election losses

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen casts her ballots at a polling station in New Taipei City, Taiwan, on Saturday. Chang Hao-an/AP hide caption toggle caption Chang Hao-an/AP TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan ... Read more »

The Ongoing Honorific Debate

Judith Martin, Miss Manners DEAR MISS MANNERS: How do you address a formal invitation to a married lesbian couple who have the same last name? For example: Lisa Jones and ... Read more »

FIFA issues response over World Cup stadium capacity confusion

Empty seats have been a recurring theme of this World Cup | Anadolu Agency/GettyImages FIFA have attempted to offer clarification as the confusion over stadium capacities at the World Cup ... Read more »

This Florida City’s Amazing Lights Make It A Magical Holiday Destination

H.J. Herrera / Shutterstock.com The city of lights is back at it again, but we’re not talking about Paris. Florida has its own little city of lights for the holidays, ... Read more »

Trail map for sanctioned motorbikes in N.J.’s Pinelands moves forward, despite enviro concerns

Campers visiting the New Jersey Pinelands or residents who have called the region home for years sometimes hear the echoes of a revving engine and the sloshing of mucky tires ... Read more »

‘Welcome to the Resistance Fellas’: Breitbart News Destroys Trump For Dining With Neo-Nazi and Kanye West

Win McNamee/Getty Images Breitbart, once called the platform of the “alt-right” by Steve Bannon, shredded former President Donald Trump on Thursday for dining with far-right white nationalist and Neo-Nazi Nick ... Read more »

NCIS' Rocky Carroll Will Always Hold His Very First Episode As One Of His Favorites

Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock “NCIS” Season 20 is about to reach its holiday break in a few weeks, and so far, the season has been eventful. The premiere featured a resolution in Alden ... Read more »

The Guardians Of The Galaxy Holiday Special Teases Marvel's Omega-Level Mutant Santa In The Opening Crawl

Jessica Miglio/Marvel Studios Omega-level mutants are extremely powerful. Once simply used as a vague term to describe very powerful mutants, the term “Omega-level mutant” wasn’t given a formal definition in ... Read more »

Dallas Symphony Orchestra Has Joyous Sounds and an Exclusive Scent for the Holiday Season

Sylvia Elzafon This holiday season, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra has music to delight your ears and a new perfume to seduce your nose. ON (Ogni Nota), a limited-edition, new, and ... Read more »

Taiwan’s president resigns as her party’s leader after election loss

TAIPEI, Taiwan —  Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen resigned as head of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party on Saturday following local election losses suffered by her party. Voters in Taiwan overwhelmingly chose ... Read more »

Irene Cara death: is Flashdance and Fame star’s cause of death known? What has been said

Oscar and Grammy winning musician Irene Cara has died at the age of 63, her publicist has said. Cara was best known for singing and co-writing the track Flashdance… What ... Read more »

Report: Chelsea Monitoring Lyon Right-Back Malo Gusto

Chelsea are monitoring and scouting Lyon right-back Malo Gusto. View the original article to see embedded media. Chelsea are looking to sign a right-back to provide competition for Reece James, ... Read more »

IRCC finds no fault in AIDS summit visa debacle, but advocates fear possible repeat

With Canada set to host a major international summit next month, advocates are warning about a possible repeat of issues that prevented some African delegates from attending a conference in ... Read more »

Good Samaritan rescues woman pushed onto NYC subway tracks

The episode unfolded shortly after 3:20 a.m. Saturday. Seth Gottfried A woman was pushed onto the subway tracks in Brooklyn following an early-morning dispute, police said. A Good Samaritan came ... Read more »

French president Emmanuel Macron to visit New Orleans

Emmanuel Macron is expected to land in the Crescent City on Dec 2.. NurPhoto via Getty Images French President Emmanuel Macron will visit New Orleans next month becoming the first ... Read more »

Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei dies

Belarus Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei died Saturday at the age of 64. AFP via Getty Images Belarus foreign minister Vladimir Makei died Saturday, according to a brief report from the ... Read more »

Taiwan President Tsai resigns as chairman of ruling party after it suffers major defeat in local elections

TAIPEI – Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen has resigned as chairman of the ruling party after it suffered a major defeat in Saturday’s local elections seen as a midterm test of ... Read more »

Halifax crews fighting fire at scrap metal yard in Goodwood

Halifax fire crews are working to knock down a blaze that broke out at a scrap metal yard in Goodwood Saturday morning. Geoff Garber, the acting district chief with Halifax ... Read more »

Seasoned psychotherapist killed as fire tears through Queens apartment, FDNY says

A seasoned psychotherapist who worked with both criminal offenders and trauma survivors was killed after a fire tore through her Queens apartment, the FDNY said Saturday. Firefighters responding to the ... Read more »

Why do footballers have holes in their socks? Reason World Cup stars cut a hole in back of socks - explained

The best footballers from around the globe are competing in the World Cup in Qatar. England, Wales and other nations are taking part in the group stage of the tournament. ... Read more »

Oscar-Winning Actress/Singer Irene Cara Dies At 63

Sad notice on a Thanksgiving weekend. Irene Cara has died at age 63, per her publicist. The Oscar-winning singer was best known for the Flashdance theme What A Feeling and ... Read more »

It’s a Wonderful Life, review: ENO faces down possible extinction with a feel-good Christmas opera

Oops! Something went wrong. Please try again later. Jennifer France and Frederick Ballentine in It’s a Wonderful Life – Lloyd Winters English National Opera is on the brink of a ... Read more »

Saudi Arabia coach denies team given Rolls Royces after Argentina stunner

There won’t be 26 new Rolls-Royces hitting the streets of Riyadh after all. Saudi Arabia coach Herve Renard struck down a report that his entire team was being gifted luxury ... Read more »

Landslide hits Italian island of Ischia; at least 12 missing

Heavy rains caused a landslide to engulf buildings on the southern Italian holiday island of Ischia. REUTERS Rescuers were searching for at least a dozen people early Saturday after heavy ... Read more »

Elon Musk backs Ron DeSantis for 2024 presidential run

Elon Musk publicly urged his 119 million Twitter followers to vote Republican in the 2022 midterm elections. AFP via Getty Images Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has a big-name supporter for ... Read more »

Matt Whitaker: "I don't have any reason to believe there's enough evidence to indict President Trump."

Just days after former President Donald Trump launched his third bid for the White House, the U.S. Department of Justice ramped up two investigations that may be the greatest impediments ... Read more »

The 11th Circuit is poised to 'slam' Judge Aileen Cannon for protecting Trump: former prosecutor

Creative Commons During an appearance on Saturday with MSNBC’s Ali Velshi, former federal prosecutor Cynthia Alksne claimed she expected the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to come down hard on ... Read more »

Bizarre Video Of Colorado Springs' Shooter's Father Being Repeatedly Kicked In Groin Resurfaces

mega While the Colorado Springs community continued to grieve the loss of five members from their community, videos of the suspected shooter, Anderson Lee Aldrich’s father being kicked in the ... Read more »
Breaking thailand news, thai news, thailand news Verified News Story Network