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MEND’s Emergency Foodbank & pantry is the largest in the San Fernando Valley, providing direct distribution to clients in need and food pantries across LA County.
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MEND- Meet Each Need with Dignity offers a range of comprehensive services delivered with dignity and respect by exceptionally dedicated staff and volunteers. For 50 years, MEND has opened its doors to the most vulnerable members of our community and over the years we have become one of the most comprehensive and empowering poverty relief agencies in Los Angeles County.
To Describe Joe as the human energizer bunny, would be an understatement. Most days, bright and early, you will find Joe at MEND’s Clothing Center drop-off area, helping unload donations, thanking donors, or working at other areas of the building. He is non-stop! Lifting, hauling, hurrying from one assignment to the next, he works like a man making up for lost time.
MARICELA NEVER IMAGINED herself to be in the situation she is in now. Last September, she lost her husband and her life has not been the same. Fighting back the tears, she shares, “To be honest, the first few months after my husband passed I didn’t feel the pressure. Now I feel anxious all the time. I never imagined I would be a single mother to 3 kids.”
She came to the Family Support Program after she had increased her visits to the Foodbank. In meeting with Rosa and her family, we learned that her husband, the sole provider of the family, had tragically passed away. Rosa felt lost and didn’t know how to support her 3 children. We helped her create a plan to regain control, and she prioritized getting a job to support her family.
She was nervous to start her job search but we showed her the ropes and were there with guidance and encouragement whenever she needed it. Rosa has since found a job, and she loves it! Because of the increased income, Rosa no longer needs to visit the MEND Foodbank. She is especially proud about this. “This is the first time in a long time that my family hasn’t needed the MEND Foodbank,” she says, beaming. We too are proud of her accomplishment.
She was anxious, felt alone, and her family was struggling to make ends meet. Despite her anxiety, she trusted our team and shared struggles that she kept hidden from other people in her life. Her first priority was to find a good job. She was very nervous but she enrolled in a caregiver course. Not only was she able to complete the course but she also made friends along the way.
She told us that she was surprised that her new friends admired her dedication and courage because she didn’t see herself that way. With her new certification, Vanessa got a job as a caregiver. Her family is now able to put some money into savings, and is working towards a new long term goal of finding a new home.
At the age of 32, Amelia, has known more pain and struggle than anyone deserves over a lifetime. She has lived through cruel abuse, rejection, homelessness, intense physical pain and persistent hunger. From a very young age, Amelia worked alongside her Mom, Elizabeth, selling whatever they could to make ends meet.
And, sadly, as she grew older, her mother developed what they later learned to be epilepsy. Caregiving became an important part of her growing list of duties. She says with some regret, “I never went to school because I had to be by my mother’s side.
Karla and her young family are one of many San Fernando Valley families that have relied on MEND for food assistance in the last year. She never has to worry about keeping her family fed thanks to the fresh produce and essentials that she receives from the food bank.
The stress of paying rent and utilities remains a constant, and sometimes keeps Karla up at night, which makes her thankful not to worry about food. She shares, “I have no idea what I would have done if MEND did not exist. I am so grateful for MEND and the people who support MEND.”
MEND serves the poorest families & individuals in the San Fernando Valley; meeting their most immediate basic needs and helping them build resources and skills to address and overcome long-term poverty.
MEND’s Foodbank has long been a point of entry for a majority of clients. Clients utilizing the food bank include families struggling to make ends meet, and people who are homeless who—because of few options—sometimes rely on foraging from dumpsters to survive.
POUND OF FOOD
Every year, over 20 organizations host clothing drives for the Clothing Center allowing us to provide clothes for every occasion, including business attire for MEND’s job trainees, and children’s clothing for school. All of your kind donations are given to clients at no charge to them.
In the Fall of 2018, MEND started its first case management program – the Family Support Program (FSP). Our hypothesis was that with intensive 1:1 social work support, guidance and resource connections, families in poverty could reduce their dependence on MEND’s and other safety net services and gain greater stability and independence.
Our Homeless Care Services supported thousands of homeless men and women in 2020, providing them with the nutrition they needed during a pandemic - good food to go, fresh change of clothing, hygiene items, pet food and referrals to our partners in housing and mental health.
With your support, we’ll continue to rally towards the immediate needs of individuals and families. Your donation will support and increase their access to opportunities.
We are so excited to share that MEND has been voted Best Charity in the San Fernando Valley/Ventura area! Thank you…
IT IS PROBABLY TOO EARLY to close the book on COVID but with vaccinations continuing and some of the restrictions li…
MEND was recently featured on Telemundo to discuss the incredible partnership with Grocery Outlet for the Independenc…