By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief
The Palisades-Malibu YMCA is participating in the citywide FeedLA initiative, offering free groceries to help address “food insecurity and other needs for vulnerable Angelenos” on Thursdays between 12 and 2 p.m.
“For nearly 140 years, the Y has been an invaluable resource for our communities and a beacon of social responsibility,” according to a statement from the organization. “At this critical moment in the midst of a global pandemic, we are being called daily to remain the hubs for community wellness and to rise to an unprecedented occasion and continue providing our youth, families, teens, seniors and so many more with services and support.”
Palisades-Malibu YMCA Executive Director Jim Kirtley shared that between delivering and people coming by to pick up, the organization was able to distribute all 50 bags they assembled to give away the first week of the Grab & Go Groceries program on February 4.
“I’m excited about the momentum we’re starting to feel,” Kirtley explained, adding that as the program continues, he envisions more people will come by the Y to get the bag versus having to deliver.
All of the bags the first week were handed out to people within the Palisades community. The program, which is slated to continue through December, is open to anyone who resides in Los Angeles.
Councilmember Mike Bonin donated reusable bags to fill with groceries the first two weeks of the program in the Palisades.
Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, YMCA of Metropolitan LA has provided more than two million Grab & Go Meals served at Y locations across Los Angeles, delivered more than 100,000 pounds of groceries to homebound seniors, and provided 32,000 neighbors with showers, hygiene kids, and essential supplies.
Kirtley is seeking assistance from volunteers on Thursdays to help between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.—from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. to fill bags, between 12 and 2 p.m. to hand out bags, or both—at 821 Via De La Paz.
He also needs help getting food to the Palisades Y from the Westside Food Bank on Wednesdays at 12 p.m. and from the Collins & Katz Y on Thursdays between 9:30 and 10 a.m.
He is also hoping that community members will help spread the word that the program is available for those who need some extra assistance during this time—all the person needs to do to benefit is live in Los Angeles.
“Tell anybody and everybody you know that may be in need that it’s available,” Kirtley concluded.
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