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From Farms to the Tables of Displaced Workers

A new Los Angeles program distributes farm-fresh food to struggling families.

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A family waits in their vehicle as their trunk is packed with produce. All photos by Joanne Kim.

On April 15, UNITE Here Local 11 partnered with several other organizations to offer a free box of fresh fruit, vegetables and eggs to hospitality workers affected by the COVID-19 crisis and South L.A. families living in public housing. In total, over a thousand families made the drive to the Banc of California Stadium in Exposition Park to pick up boxes.

The Farm Box program is being produced through a partnership that includes Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Sustainable Economic Enterprises of Los Angeles (SEE-LA), UNITE HERE Local 11 and Cedars-Sinai. It offers produce purchased from regional farms affected by the recent closures of farmers markets. The Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC), Banc of California Stadium, and Exposition Park donated the site and equipment. LAFC also facilitated the donation of packaged food as well as personal protective gear for the volunteers.

Cedars-Sinai, the Office of Supervisor Ridley-Thomas, and the Fredric D Rosen and Nadine Schiff Family Foundation provided financial sponsorship for the initiative. The organizations plan on providing free produce boxes every Wednesday for the next four weeks.

A young woman watches as the trunk of her family’s vehicle is loaded with produce.

Representatives from Cedars-Sinai prepare bags with a dozen eggs. Each family also receives a week’s worth of seasonal fruits and vegetables, 10 pounds of oranges, and information about local public nutrition benefit and incentive programs.

Representatives from Cedars-Sinai prepare bags with a dozen eggs. Each family also receives a week’s worth of seasonal fruits and vegetables, 10 pounds of oranges, and information about local public nutrition benefit and incentive programs.

At the Farm Box Program, cars await their turn to pick up their produce boxes.


Cars await their turn to pick up food from the drive-up stalls.

Elizabeth Bowman, Director of Farmers Market Operations for Sustainable Economic Enterprises of Los Angeles (SEE-LA) helps with the Farm Box Program.

Elizabeth Bowman, Director of Farmers Market Operations for SEE-LA, stacks 10-pound bags of oranges. She helped organize the produce delivery from regional farmers earlier that morning.

Nicholas Bloom of Cedars-Sinai directs cars at the Farm Box Program food distribution center.

Nicholas Bloom of Cedars-Sinai directs cars to the appropriate booth.

A man in a face mask waits in his car as his trunk is packed with produce and eggs at the Farm Box Program.

A man in a face mask waits in his car as his trunk is packed with produce and eggs. 

Representatives from Cedars Sinai pack up a local resident’s vehicle at the Farm Box Program

Representatives from Cedars Sinai pack up a local resident’s vehicle.

Henry Aguilar, from the Kerlan-Jobes Institute at Cedars-Sinai, is passed a 10-pound bag of oranges to pack into the trunk of a vehicle at the Farm Box Program distribution event.

Henry Aguilar, from the Kerlan-Jobes Institute at Cedars-Sinai, is passed a 10-pound bag of oranges to pack into the trunk of a vehicle.

Ana Diaz, of UNITE HERE Local 11, waits to direct vehicles out of the area after their car is packed.

Ana Diaz, of UNITE HERE Local 11, waits to direct vehicles out of the area after their car is packed.

 


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