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San Fernando Valley food pantry struggles to provide amid surging food insecurity

The West Valley Food Pantry in Woodland Hills is struggling to feed hundreds of families that come in each week. 

Officials from the nonprofit say while food insecurity is surging in the community, donations to the group have been dwindling.

“Rents have gone up. Food has gone up. Medication costs and health care have gone up, and they’re living on fixed incomes,” said Debbie Decker, the executive director of the West Valley Food Pantry. “People are trying to stay housed and not become homeless, but they’re also trying to make ends meet with what they have.”

With its funding running low, the food pantry is now looking at the possibilities of reducing some of its services.

“We are upside down financially for operations,” said Decker. “The food insecurity is just horrific, and here we are serving the entire San Fernando Valley.”

Decker said the pantry may need to enter emergency fundraising mode after not receiving enough donations. And if the organization continues to experience financial difficulties, it may need to cut its senior delivery, homeless outreach and drive-thru programs, according to Decker.

The nonprofit says it’s been providing groceries for thousands of families living under the federal poverty line since 1975. Most of their beneficiaries live in the San Fernando Valley.

According to the 2021 Food Insecurity Report by LA County, nearly 516,000 households in Los Angeles struggle to put food on their table, and nearly 95,000 of those are in the San Fernando Valley — more than any other region in the county. 

Source: NBC Los Angeles

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