USA – Food security programs
Food For All, Washington, DC
Check FoodForAllDC.org for the latest updates and volunteer opportunities.
AMURT received its fourth grant from the U.S. government’s Emergency Food and Shelter Program for its Food For All program in Washington, D.C. The grant helped AMURT provide emergency groceries to 80 poor households a week in 2009. Many of our clients, especially the elderly and those with disabilities, are home-bound, so we deliver groceries to their homes. The Food For All program is helpful for social workers who know where to turn when a poor client shows up in their offices.
| Carlton Garrison (left) was homeless for eight years, using his wits to survive the Washington streets. Now he has a roof over his head, periodic food assistance from Food For All, and the regular company of one of our volunteers to brighten up his life
|A Food For All volunteer stands behind Carolyn McGrier, and her neighborhood friend, outside her apartment in Washington, DC|
Most people do not think of Washington, D.C. as being a place of poverty. However, according to U.S. census data for the year 2008, 16.9% of District residents live below the poverty line. That translates into a lot of people struggling to make ends meet.
AMURT’s Food For All program has been assisting such people with emergency food needs for the past fifteen years. 1n 2001, especially after September 11, the demand for our services increased dramatically. The Hotel and Restaurant Employees Union, for example, were struggling to support 4,000 recently unemployed members. We provided food for fifty union families every week until they found other resources.
- “Food For All was a lifeline – it was the only organization helping us on a regular basis.” – Jorge Rivera, Relief Coordinator, Hotel and Restaurant Employees Union.
Many clients come to us after life takes an unexpected turn for the worse. Jose Ortega injured his hand and was unable to work for two months, throwing his family into a crisis. Food For All provided weekly food baskets for the Ortega family so they could focus their resources on paying rent and utilities. Now Jose is back to work and our services are no longer needed.
Mama D’s Kitchen Los Angeles
Every Sunday early morning there is a long line of people waiting close to the corner of the 5th St and San Pedro St in Los Angeles, an area known as Skid Row. People are full of expectation for an old white Ford van arriving with the materials for their breakfast. They get their plastic bags to keep snacks, and a spoon to enjoy their milky cereal. They also get miscellaneous fruit, Starbucks pastries, and fresh bread and bagels from Panera. Welcome to MamaD’s Kitchen.
AMURT has been involved with the hunger problem amongst the poor and the homeless in Los Angeles for the last 25 years. Our breakfast feeding through Mama D’s Kitchen is legendary amongst the folks of Skid Row. It makes a huge difference in their lives. The program is maintained entirely by volunteers and public donations. Donate for this project
One volunteer story
Behind every homeless person there is a story that will move you to tears, if only you find the time to listen!! I know this special sweet smile, when John approaches me with a picture of a mansion, giant glass panes and a swimming pool, and tells me he will get to live there in the very near future, I smile too, and tell him, Oh! that is wonderful, I am happy for you. The other day he came to me and after looking around told me he had something he wanted to share with me, he would like to give us something as he is so thankful for our service feeding the people. He open an envelop from inside his cap, and tells us about this diamonds he got, and if we would like to have some. When I look at it and realized they were glass, I did not know how to tell him that, should he be disappointed, so we just told him to keep it safe, and not to show it at the street. John helps us every Sunday we are feeding. He is so gentle, always asking if he can have something while serving others, he is one of those souls who deserves every effort on our part to make a difference.