Westside Food Bank’s 31st Annual Virtual 5k
Walking from Home to End Hunger Oct. 17 to Oct. 24
The words, Supply Chain have become part of the daily discourse these days. How many times do you hear those words in a day? Evidence is everywhere. Prices are up, exponentially in some areas. Goods and services are on back order. Lack of workers has caused an upset in the supply chain that threatens to disturb everything from the economy to lifestyle. Here in LA, one of my favorite places to eat is Oh My Burger in Gardena, Ca. https://www.ohmyburger.com/, a Black owned soul food and burger joint. The food is amazing, however, they are struggling. They’ve had to keep raising their prices due to the supply chain. They posted this earlier today, reflecting their plight.
According to Statista, one needs to earn $39.00/hour on a 40-hour week to afford a two-bedroom apartment in California, the highest in the country. US hourly wages by state. With the 1% controlling nearly 100% of the money flow, unless you make in the high six figures (400K/year+), the fallout from this worldwide pandemic has already hit your home and will continue to do so.
Imagine being homeless, or having to choose between rent and food. For 40 years, the Westside Food Bank in Santa Monica CA, wsfb.org has made their mission to end hunger by providing access to free nutritious food through food acquisition and distribution to communities on the westside of Los Angeles. Over a year ago, I wrote about the Food Bank just as the pandemic had hit, A plea from the Foodbanks, when they were experiencing massive shortages. Seventeen months later, things have only gotten worse. Studying this article and its links will provide a clear reason as to why.
The 31st Annual Virtual 5K Hunger Walk kicked off last Sunday, Oct. 17 and continues until this Sunday, Oct.24. I have been the emcee for the event over the last 15-plus years and it’s because I’m cheap (free). As a volunteer for the last 21 years, it’s been a honor to be apart of such an amazing organization that does so much good for so many. For every $1 donation, they can produce 4 nutritious meals. Therefore, $5 = 20 meals. $20 = 80 meals. More than 1 out of every 5 people will experience food insecurity this year. As a result, it tends to have a ripple effect through communities.
In my previous blog about the Food Bank, A plea from the Foodbanks, I wrote about how volunteering changed my life following the death of my Father, Ulysses. In that regard, nothing has changed. The act of giving of one’s time cured my depression and allowed me to see things through different lenses. Wherever you live in the world, volunteers are needed. I used volunteermatch.com to find the food bank, volunteermatch.org. There you can find a variety of volunteer opportunities in your community. I was always told “It is better to give than to receive”, however, I must tell you that I’ve received far more from my volunteer experience than I could ever give.
The above 20-minute video is the opening ceremony that I hosted from my couch last Sunday. I can’t articulate enough how painful it is to include that link, mostly due to vanity. We will be on again live this Sunday, Oct. 24 at 1pm pst where we give out awards for the highest earners etc. Usually, I’m on a small stage at Santa Monica beach, where it is held, save for the last 2 years. If you have Facebook or YouTube, you can catch it live. Otherwise, it posts to their pages afterwards.
This 2 1/2 minute video shows what the Food Bank is about and who they serve. The Hunger Walk is the only in-person event the Food Bank has every year. Sunday, the 24th is official end to the Hunger Walk, but donations and grants are how they survive. This years goal of $100,000 to provide 400,000 meals is 87% met. The link to donate is walk.wsfb.org
Once again, the link to donate is https://walk.wsfb.org/. I will be walking tomorrow to fulfill my duty and to move my fat ass. Because everything is digital, you can even sign up and raise money wherever you live. Using an app called Racejoy, available for free at any app store, you can register and do the 5k walk in your neighborhood. There are some messages I recorded, along with the staff, to help encourage you along the way that are on the app. Your welcome and I’m sorry. My prayer is that next year we are able to gather like before as I am completely over these things being digitally recorded for posterity. I prefer to say it and forget it, you know what I’m saying? I will always swear by volunteering and giving back, however, as they have been the better parts of my life. I owe that to my parents. They were always serving others. They also gave anonymously, an honorable trait. As there are so many things I don’t understand these days, my prayer is for “the peace that passes understanding.” I pray that for you too, my reader.
Have you ever volunteered?
Wow, Chris, What a godsend this blog is! It’s compassionately wonderful. Thank you for the info.
May I ask a favor, please? Could you explore the home garden? I know that a small raised container garden on a balcony or yard can successfully feed a family of four. I’ve started my compost bin again but given I truly live in the desert, I’d love some info on how to create the community or home garden for our LA desert zone.
I know you have plenty on your plate (all puns intended) and a list of topics to explore so no pressure.
My sincere thanks always,
Of course Miche, I’d love to do a piece on home gardens! My father was a farmer at heart and would be pleased that I’m passing on his knowledge. Stay tuned and thanks for the great topic!
Great post as usual, Chris. it’s so true that volunteering can be beneficial to the receivers and givers alike.
Loved seeing the photos of you with your Mom.
Keep up the good work!
And I’ll second the motion for a piece on home and/or community gardens.
Thanks Laura, and thanks for supporting the food bank!