October 2, 2022 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Volunteers Still Needed at Center’s Pride Pantry

By Susan Payne

Angela Echeverria, the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s associate director of facilities, smiled from ear to ear when volunteer Alex Walker unexpectedly walked up to the Center’s driveway to volunteer for the day. 

In recent weeks, Echeverria has seen a dwindling number of volunteers available to help out at the pantry, LGBT News Now reported. 

“I love helping my community in any way I can,” Walker told LGBT News Now. “People still need help especially now that food prices are rising. It’s very eye-opening to see the world outside of my own bubble and what’s happening in everybody else’s life. It’s very rewarding and fulfilling.”

Pride Pantry was launched during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic to provide community members struggling with food insecurity with fresh produce and dry goods.

On Thursdays, volunteers and staff fill bags and boxes for distribution on Fridays. Volunteers bring food to cars that come through the driveway, or clients can pick it up themselves. 

Walker volunteered in special events pre-pandemic, but now does the pantry due to the pandemic. As the pandemic lightens and workplaces are bringing back in-office workers, volunteer schedules are becoming less flexible, LGBT News Now said. 

“We are dependent on our volunteers,” Pervical Pandy told LGBT News Now, the Center’s volunteer resources program manager. “We understand that there is a return to work, but we are still looking for people to carve out time. This is a service we know is necessary and it is vital that we have the helping hands of the community to sustain it.”

Each month, more than 2,000 boxes and bags of food are distributed from the Hollywood pantry location, which supplies two other locations with food to distribute, Mi Centro in Bayle Heights and Center South in south LA near Leimert Park.

Rani DeMesme-Anders, the Center’s director of community engagement, told LGBT News Now that more than one in four LGBTQ adults struggle with food insecurity, and that has only amplified during the pandemic. 

“As our volunteers are returning to work, we absolutely want to remind our larger community that hunger is not ceasing,” DeMesme-Anders said. If you find yourself in the position where you’ve got some time, please know your impact will be immediate.”

In addition to the pantry, the Center’s Hello Club needs volunteers to call senior clients and connect them with case management for grocery essentials and delivery services, LGBT News Now said.

“Much like our other COVID-specific programs, we have seen a decline in participation and volunteer availability,” says DeMesme-Anders. “We’re hoping to increase the awareness of the opportunities to support these types of programs.”

Hello Club volunteers need access to a computer, internet and phone to complete their duties. A 40-minute virtual training is done before volunteering. Contact information is masked when they make calls to the seniors. 
The time commitment is flexible as calls can be made between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Many times, the volunteers sit and listen to the senior make conversation, LGBT News Now said.

“We still have a large number of senior members who are actively depending on Center community members to help break that isolation,” DeMesme-Anders told LGBT News Now. “Personal touchpoint from a volunteer and LGBT community member to a senior directly really makes all the difference in the world.”

To volunteer for the Pride Pantry or Hello Club, or the Center in general, visit lalgbtcenter.org/volunteer.

in NEWS
Related Posts

Trans Chorus of LA Lifts Voices High in Upcoming Three-Act Show

September 30, 2022

September 30, 2022

The Trans Chorus of Los Angeles is lifting its voice to distill the journey of trans and nonbinary people into...

Historic Gay Sex Bathhouse Building in Downtown LA Rumored to Close Soon

September 30, 2022

September 30, 2022

By Susan Payne A historic sex bathhouse catering to gay, bisexual and men who have sex with men, currently housing...

Anti-LGBTQ Temecula Councilmember Proposes Abortion Ban

September 30, 2022

September 30, 2022

By Susan Payne During a September City Council meeting, a known anti-LGBT councilmember proposed a resolution to attempt to ban...

Liberation Café Hosts Anniversary Celebration, in-Person Dining After Two-Year Pandemic Restrictions

September 22, 2022

September 22, 2022

By Susan Payne Two years after opening, the plastic partitions that separated employees and customers inside of Liberation Coffee House...

Long Beach Police Arrest Possible Suspect in Stabbing Death Outside of a Popular Gay Bar

September 22, 2022

September 22, 2022

By Susan Payne Long Beach Police have arrested a man in connection to a murder outside of Mineshaft gay bar...

Santa Monica Hotel Hosting Monthly Drag Brunch

September 22, 2022

September 22, 2022

Drag Me to Brunch at Lowes Santa Monica Beach Hotel on the third Sunday of every month By Dolores Quintana...

Famous Italian Singer Zucchero to Play Beverly Hills Theatre on Sept. 30

September 21, 2022

September 21, 2022

Zucchero will play at Beverly Hills’ Saban Theatre, one of several American stops on his World Wide Tour  By Susan...

Santa Monica Pride History: Public Panics Over Perceived Homosexuality at Muscle Beach

September 16, 2022

September 16, 2022

By Susan Payne In a scholarly article called “Muscle Beach prompted both fascination and anxiety,” Historian Elsa Devienne studies Santa...

LAUSD Releases Pride Calendar That Helps Educators Support LGBTQ+ Students

September 15, 2022

September 15, 2022

By Susan Payne  The Los Angeles Unified School District is giving schools and teachers a monthly calendar that promotes and...

Respect Los Angeles Hails JoJo Siwa as ‘Gamechanger for LGBTQ Advocacy’

September 15, 2022

September 15, 2022

By Susan Payne Come October, JoJo Siwa will be honored as a gamechanger at the upcoming GLSEN Respect Log Angeles...

West Hollywood Launches Initiative to Prevent Drink Spiking

September 15, 2022

September 15, 2022

By Susan Payne Drink spiking at bars and restaurant is a growing problem. To curb that problem, the city of...

California Candidate for Congress Seeks to Be First Transgender, Nonbinary Member

September 8, 2022

September 8, 2022

By Susan Payne More than 100 LGBTQ+ people have run or are currently running for Congress this year, including 13...

WeHo Gay Bar ‘The Or’ is Opening Soon, Accepting Applications

September 8, 2022

September 8, 2022

Bar owner foresees ‘cool, 1970s, ‘80s trashy cocaine chic’ vibes  By Susan Payne Set for a September opening in the...

Georgia Added to California Travel Ban Post Anti-Trans Youth Sports Law Passage

September 8, 2022

September 8, 2022

By Susan Payne California is restricting state-funded travel to Georgia as a result of its anti-LGBTQ+ legislation recently passed within...

QFilms Long Beach Screens Billy Eichner RomCom ‘Bros’

September 8, 2022

September 8, 2022

In partnership with the Art Theatre, 29th Annual film festival is happening now By Susan Payne Dozens of features and...