Food Rescue and hunger relief organization Food Finders will open the first of a series of “food hub” in collaboration with Long Beach Fresh, Long Beach Center for Economic Inclusion (LBCEI), Dignity Health-St. Mary Medical Center, Good Shepherd Presbyterian in Los Alamitos, and Service Titan.
The hubs are converted, refrigerated shipping containers that will house nonperishable and perishable food items in areas deemed ‘food deserts’, which are areas devoid of proper access to food, particularly produce, dairy and wholesome items. In North Long Beach, the closing of Food 4 Less grocer has significantly limited the local community’s access to proper food, an area already struggling with food insecurity.
“The idea of the hubs grew out of a need to provide better access to nutritious food in communities where fewer pantries and shelters exist. Having the support of the district and city officials in an important step in addressing food insecurity in these areas,” said Diana Lara, executive director of Food Finders.
The hub will open by mid-April and will be stocked by Food Finders and facilitated by Crossroads Church of Long Beach, so nearby residents facing economic difficulties or lacking access to grocery stores can come and access much needed staples, such as dairy items, fresh produce, personal hygiene, and non-perishable items. Plans are for the hubs to host scheduled events twice a month that will include food distribution, cooking demonstrations, plus nutrition and reducing food waste education sessions. The sire will also have raised garden beds installed so that residents can learn how to grow their own food.
Councilmember Al Austin of District 8 sees the food hub as a win for his community, stating, “This partnership between Food Finders and Crossroads Church of Long Beach to bring a food hub to North Long Beach is a welcome and needed collaboration. These are challenging times, and I know many residents will benefit from this program to address food insecurity in our community.”