By Paul Green
Like the rest of the country, this city has faced some economic challenges due to and even prior to the pandemic. As a result, for many the process of putting a meal on the table has become daily challenge. Culver City has some organizations that have stepped up to help meet that challenge that so many are dealing with.
Since 2009, Culver City’s Grace Lutheran Church has had a major role in feeding those in need. A combination of dinners purchased from the St. Vincent Meals on Wheels and other local entities and restaurants supports the all-volunteer efforts to give out meals Monday through Friday from 3:30 to 5:00 pm.
Every day of the week during those hours, you’ll see people lined up who are most appreciative of receiving the three course dinners. The church is located at 4427 Overland Ave., and online info about the program is at Gracediner.org.
As a result of the modified school settings and curriculum, it’s become very clear that there is both an educational and nutritional divide for many students. The Culver City High School Food Service Department has come into the fold to do its’ part in closing that divide. Any resident in Los Angeles County can come to the school Monday through Friday from noon to 2 p.m. and receive a breakfast, a lunch or both if needed. In addition to the meals being nutritionally balanced, each entrée is individually wrapped and typically there are at least two and as many three different varieties to choose from.
The Department’s Director Julia Garcia said that “on average they will give out 16,500 meals a week and about 1,300 on weekends alone” For your convenience, you can drive up and park right in front of the school where the tables are located.
It was back in March of 2020 during the early stages of pandemic that it all began, and it has been going strong ever since. Though the school year, will be ending in a couple of weeks, like in past years, the lunches program will continue to be available during the summer months.
The Culver Palms YMCA is one of the most recent organizations to establish a food distribution program. Since its inception this past March the YMCA’s Executive Director, Lori Siegal’s goal has been to get the word out about it’s Grab and Go Breakfast and Lunch system that operates between the hours of 9 to 11 a.m. on Tuesday and Thursday.
They’ve partnered with the Nutritious Life Company to create “Food Plate” designed meals to be given to all kids under the age of 18. In addition to the 150 to 200 recipients that partake each week, they also provide fresh produce to the previously mentioned Grace Diner, The Boys Club and Culver Back Pack program. Recently they’ve added a “Groceries to Go” drive through which encompasses the dissemination of fresh produce along with pantry staples like canned foods dry goods, oil and other essentials for cooking and eating.
Currently, the plan is to continue the operation until the end of the year and hopefully beyond depending on the funding. The Culver Palms location is 4500 Sepulveda Blvd. You can call 323-657-7677 or visit https://www.loc8nearme.com/california/culver-city/culver-palms-family-ymca/6152442/ for more details