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Tuesday, Nov 29, 2022
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Hunger Program Breaks Bread in Antelope Valley

1Family 1Restaurant, a web-based program designed to provide food to impoverished families in the Antelope Valley through partnerships with local restaurants, celebrated Aug. 28 as “America Break Bread Day” with an event at the Lemon Leaf Cafe in Lancaster. Grace Resource, Palmdale SAVES, the local Boys & Girls Club and the team of L.A. County Supervisor Mike Antonovich co-sponsored the festivities. Residents and city officials from Palmdale and Lancaster were in attendance. Assemblyman Tom Lackey, whose bill to declare Aug. 28 “America Break Bread Day” was approved by the state assembly earlier this month, made a special presentation. IFamily IRestaurant, or 1F1R, allows individuals and businesses to purchase meals at participating restaurants through the organization’s website, mobile application or by texting “MEALS” to 41444. When a meal has been sponsored, the restaurant is connected with a family in need through local food banks and invites them to come dine. The program aims to develop a community solution to hunger while also giving food-insecure families the chance to enjoy a restaurant experience. More than 20 restaurants in Palmdale, Lancaster, Ventura County and the surrounding region have registered with 1F1R so far, including Fresh & Fabulous Cafe in Oxnard and Urbane Cafe in Thousand Oaks. Establishments that are interested in participating can learn more about the program by visiting the 1F1R website. Woodbury Award Recipients Woodbury University’s College of Liberal Arts in Burbank has named MEND in Pacioma and Leah’s Pantry in San Diego as winners of three $1,000 grants funded by the Global Hunger Foundation. Students enrolled in the university’s ethics and urban studies courses were assigned to research prospective recipient programs and select those that demonstrated organization, effectiveness and attention to the long- and short-term needs of food-insecure communities. MEND, which stands for “Meet Each Need with Dignity,” received two awards, while Leah’s Pantry received one. “Today, the developing world can be found in our own backyards,” said Douglas J. Cremer, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. “The old saying, ‘Give someone a fish and you feed them for a day – teach someone to fish and you feed them for a lifetime,’ is often posed as an either/or choice. These organizations have made the bold decision to see the saying as a both/and solution.” MEND was founded in the early 1970s in the San Fernando Valley and is now the largest anti-poverty agency in the area, with 37,000 clients every month. Leah’s Pantry conducts nutrition programs designed to teach participants how to optimize their shopping and eating habits for maximum financial and physical health. The awards are the latest initiative by Woodbury University to draw awareness to food insecurity in the surrounding community. Last spring, the college launched Pop’s Pantry, an on-campus food pantry that is stocked with dry and canned goods for students in need. Pop’s Pantry is expected to open again for the fall semester. Red Cross Leader The American Red Cross’ Northern Valleys chapter has appointed a new executive director. Raul Claros will lead the organization’s efforts in the Crescenta, Antelope, Santa Clarita and San Fernando Valley communities. Prior to joining the Red Cross, Claros served as deputy for L.A. City Council President Herb Wesson. He worked for over a decade as a school teacher, community organizer, nonprofit director and government liaison with both the California State Assembly and the City of Los Angeles. In his new position, he will continue the Northern Valleys Chapter’s work to build disaster resilience plans; collaborate with local authorities, community organizations, schools and businesses on safety initiatives; and prepare the region’s citizens to survive a major catastrophe. “Disaster can strike anytime, anywhere and it’s time for Crescenta, Antelope, Santa Clarita and San Fernando Valley to work together to prepare,” Claros said in a statement. “We need to remind everyone that disaster preparedness should be something to work on now, not tomorrow.” Claros participated in the American Red Cross Los Angeles Region’s July response to Santa Clarita’s Sand Fire. The Northern Valleys chapter is headquartered in Glendale. “We are proud to have Raul Claros as our new executive director for Northern Valleys,” said Jarrett Barrios, chief executive for the American Red Cross Los Angeles Region, in a statement. “His proven track record in building strategic partnerships and community coalitions will be incredible assets for the organization and the community it serves.” Staff Reporter Helen Floersh can be reached at (818) 316-3121 or hfloersh@sfvbj.com.

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