The Valley Food Bank is well positioned to carry out the objectives of its Fighting Hunger – Feeding Hope program. As an outreach of the Rescue Mission Alliance, the Valley Food Bank is backed by an organization with over 40 years of sound fiscal management, continuous growth, experience, and positive client outcomes. It is a member in good standing with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) and “Certified Excellent” through the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions (AGRM).
The weak economy, double-digit unemployment, and the reduction of government programs have increased the demand for food assistance. The increase primarily represents people who have lost their jobs, their savings, and for some, their homes. Many of the families now served by the 8 food pantries in the Valley Food Bank’s distribution network have never sought assistance before.
Steep job losses in the banking and entertainment industries, on top of the housing downturn, are reverberating particularly hard through the San Fernando Valley. At mild and moderate levels, food insecurity contributes to anxiety and worry, and often results in adjusting the household budget to forego other basic needs in order to make sure that one’s family is fed. Very low food security results in the disruption of eating patterns and reduced food intake. Children in food-insecure households miss more school and often do poorly in school. Both young children and adolescents experience more emotional problems, and adults in food insecure households experience more anxiety and depression.
Individuals in food-insecure households are more likely than others to put off or omit filling prescriptions for needed medicine or following up on needed medical care. For individuals with chronic illnesses such as diabetes or asthma, this results in increased complications, hospitalizations and emergency room visits. Valley Food Bank’s Fighting Hunger – Feeding Hope program will specifically address hunger and food insecurity by distributing quality, nutritious food to multiple food pantries strategically located in San Fernando Valley communities with the greatest need.