State Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D-Woodland Hills) presented a check to the West Valley Food Pantry on Monday, Aug. 9, symbolizing the recent appropriation in the state budget of $3.5 million to help the pantry construct a permanent facility and expand its outreach and services in the West San Fernando Valley.
This appropriation, secured for the San Fernando Valley in the recent state budget, marks a major step forward in the pantry’s efforts to assist individuals experiencing homelessness.
“The West Valley Food Pantry is a true blessing for our community,” Gabriel said. “The pantry has done incredible work supporting vulnerable kids, families, and seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The West Valley Food Pantry has served as a lifeline to families in need in the West San Fernando Valley during the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the last 18 months, the nonprofit has experienced a quadrupling of community members in need of its services and has assisted more than 240,000 individuals during that time.
In addition to operating the food pantry, the organization also has provided vital grocery deliveries to more than 600 homebound seniors. On average, the West Valley Food Pantry has been providing groceries to approximately 11,000 individuals monthly—all in a borrowed, temporary facility.
The $3.5 million in funding will allow the nonprofit to transition out of its current makeshift space and into a permanent facility designed for providing food and groceries as well as vital services to individuals experiencing homelessness. The new 7,000 square-foot facility—which will include an upgraded commercial kitchen with large walk-in coolers for healthier and fresher food options—will help the organization more robustly and efficiently serve children, families, and seniors.
“With this wonderful grant, our Assemblymember has made it possible for us to not only continue to provide food and assistance to the large numbers of neighbors in need, but also improve and add additional services for years to come,” said Debbie Decker, Executive Director and COO of the West Valley Food Pantry.
“We are so grateful for his support and that of the State of California.”