“Rescuing food, ending hunger”: these words shape the work and successes of Food Finders’ long history in southern California. Over three hundred current donors, serving two hundred agencies throughout Los Angeles and Orange counties: these are points of pride for our staff and volunteers. Where we go, we improve our environment while serving the neediest in our communities! What a joy to be a part of!
After six months on the job, I think it is time to introduce myself: I am Valerie, the Community Outreach and Advocacy Coordinator with Food Finders, and I represent a new, exciting and very important aspect our work. In our work over the past 2 ½ decades, Food Finders has become a strong player in the field. We have grown to a staff of eleven and over 150 regular volunteers wear our shirts every week. But what does it mean to end hunger? How do we achieve our environmental and social justice goals in the long-term.
To create the solutions to the problems we face, it has been my work to partner us with change agents in Los Angeles, Long Beach, Orange County and the surrounding communities. We are starting to ask the question: Why hunger? Why waste? These issues facing our society are complex and interwoven; there is not just one simple solution. Instead, it takes a collective energy to transform where we are into where we would like to be.
That’s why we are working with incredible groups like Hunger Action Los Angeles to talk to local decision-makers about effective strategies to end hunger. That’s why we work with the Los Angeles Food Policy Council to effectively allocate our time and resources in addressing hunger and waste with a broad range of coalition partners. That’s why we’re developing a Long Beach “Food Bank Think Tank” with many of our 90 local agencies. That’s why we’re developing anti-hunger statewide strategies with the Orange County Food Access Coalition.
So, as we move into 2016 and beyond, we ask you to think about those questions, too. Why hunger? Why waste? How do we create change? How can I help?