No Kid Hungry California was recognized by several legislators for their work supporting kids and families in the San Gabriel Valley.
Due east of Los Angeles sits the San Gabriel Valley, made up of vibrant and tight-knit communities, yet at the same time a region faced with a high-level of need. Rising housing prices caused by gentrification have pushed many families to work long hours, if they are able to find work at all. The pandemic made things even harder, putting thousands of kids at risk of hunger.
The predominantly Latino community came together, forming partnerships with businesses, schools, volunteers, local non-profits and even the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve to ensure every kid had the food they needed during the crisis. They prioritized being flexible to accommodate the schedules and needs of busy parents.
“I am so glad that you guys are doing this over the weekend,” a father shared. “Because it's impossible for my family to access the school meals during the day. We have to work from 5 a.m. until 5 p.m., and we don't have any childcare.”
Andrea Cuellar, program manager for No Kid Hungry California, talks with pride about how the community of San Gabriel Valley motivated her during the onset of the pandemic.
“Even knowing that we impacted one or two families would have made it all worthwhile,” she said. “But helping the community at large and seeing their strength was a beacon of hope during difficult and uncertain times.”
No Kid Hungry California was there to help connect the dots, partnering with schools and community organizations to ensure kids got the nutritious meals they need to be healthy and strong. Not only did they provide grants and technical support to help communities launch and grow emergency feeding programs, but they also helped advertise food distribution sites and offered logistical support to set up meal sites.
With the leadership and innovation of Ramirez Strategies, No Kid Hungry helped create additional drive-thru meal delivery events in different cities in the San Gabriel Valley. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 18 events, each feeding an average of 500 families.
No Kid Hungry California received several official recognitions, including proclamations from Assembly Member Blanca Rubio, the city of Azusa, the city of South El Monte and Senator Susan Rubio.
Assembly Member Rubio shared, “I would like to thank No Kid Hungry and Andrea Cuellar for their outstanding work and dedication to helping our families throughout the San Gabriel Valley. Your organization's commitment to solving the problems of hunger has a huge impact on the livelihood and well-being of our most vulnerable residents. This dedication is appreciated beyond measure and is priceless. No Kid Hungry paves the way to building access to food for all communities, and I thank you for setting the example.”
But Cuellar credits the strength of the community in the Valley and strong local partnerships on the ground for the success they’ve seen.
“It's really empowering to see community members wanting to be a part of the change and empower future generations,” Cuellar said. “This was incredibly inspiring.”
You can join No Kid Hungry to help end childhood hunger in the San Gabriel Valley and in communities like yours across the nation. Together, we can make all the difference for hungry kids.