Ending Hunger in Los Angeles - The Jewish Federation's Hunger Initiative partners with policy makers and community non-profit and faith organizations in an effort to alleviate hunger and food insecurity in Los Angeles.

To learn more about the movement and how you can get involved, contact Flori Schutzer (323) 761-8132 or Fschutzer@JewishLA.org.

The Hunger Initiative of The Jewish Federation educates and mobilizes the Jewish community so that together we can make Los Angeles a better place for everyone. We are a Jewish voice speaking out about issues of hunger, nutrition and food security for our community and connecting it with anti-hunger partners. With more than 1.7 million L.A. County residents facing hunger or food insecurity every day, The Jewish Federation works with diverse partners in the effort to end hunger in Los Angeles.


Do you need food assistance?

The Hunger Initiative is funded in part by a generous grant from the Jewish Community Foundation.

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"You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to desist from it".

- Rabbi Tarfon

On Tuesday, Sept. 24th, our Federation’s Hunger Initiative brought together a diverse panel to discuss innovative strategies to address hunger locally and globally.

The event was co-sponsored by American Jewish World Service, MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger and Netiya. ...read more



What can we do? We open the doors of our homes at the Seder and say “Let all who are hungry come and eat”. There’s not room at your table for 1.7 million hungry Angelenos who don’t know where their next meal will come from, but there is much you can do.

VOLUNTEER - Roll up your sleeves!

Help pick LA’s bounty (or donate your own) with Food Forward. Volunteers harvest excess fruits and vegetables and donate 100% to local food pantries (including SOVA). Join a Food Forward team or have them come and pick your surplus.

  • Tomchei Shabbos focuses specifically on Jews in need and provides food for Shabbat and holidays as well as many other resources.

ADVOCATE - Contribute to a long-term solution

  • Advocate for food justice – write your elected officials on behalf of those who are hungry. If you need to find your district go to www.lacounty.gov. Fill in your address on the Service Locator at the top right of the page.
  • MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger has an excellent guide to making your voice heard
  • To receive updates on food related legislation and the Federation’s work on the issue of food security, email Flori Schutzer, Program Director of the Hunger Initiative.

DONATE FOOD – Reduce waste

  • Donate food to a food bank, pantry or shelter such as the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, SOVA or JFS}Gramercy Place Shelter.
  • Tomchei Shabbos focuses specifically on Jews in need and provides food for Shabbat and holidays as well as many other resources.
  • Donate food left over from catered events.

    Thanks to the California’s Good Samaritan Law, donors are released from liability when donating food to nonprofit organizations. Restaurants can donate food under many circumstances and while food prepared in a private home is not acceptable for donation, leftover food from a catered meal, party, or event is. Call in advance please.

    • For food left from kosher catered events contact Nouriel Cohen at Global Kindness (310.402.8882) or Tomchei Shabbos
    • For food left from other catered events contact the Extra Helpings program at the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank (323.234.3030 X 129). They will connect you with a program near you.

Whether you have room in your own yard or on a balcony or acquire a plot at a community garden America’s number one hobby can provide more than recreation. Find a community garden.

  • Join with our Federation Partner, Netiya and your synagogue or other community group to create a tithing garden. Email Devorah Brous.
  • Donate the produce you grow to a local pantry.
  • If you have too many fruit trees on your property contact Food Forward to bring volunteers to pick the surplus and donate it to local pantries.


Why do we care about hunger? We’re commanded “And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corner of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleaning of thy harvest… thou shalt leave them for the poor and for the stranger”. Based on our values and history we, as Jews, identify with those who lack the basics of a healthy life. We advocate for the powerless and give aid to the widow and the orphan. As a people we have suffered hunger and famine many times in our history, both in the bible and in modern times. We are also commanded many times in the torah to care for the stranger in our midst and so we go beyond caring only for our fellow Jews.

EDUCATE - be informed


There are some stellar organizations working to alleviate hunger. Here are just a few you might be interested in:

  • NETIYA, in partnership with The Jewish Federation, is a network that gardens to tithe the majority of the food they grow to local pantries, organizes to mitigate hunger in LA and informs to seed a more just and resilient food system. NETIYA, funded by a grant from the Jewish Community Foundation, provides a platform for LA’s non-professional gardeners, farmers, students, educators and rabbis to grow food, engage in collaborative food justice action and build alliances in the new Jewish food movement.
  • Jewish Family Services
    • JFS}SOVA is more than just a food pantry. SOVA provides an array of support services and prioritizes respecting the dignity of every client. You can volunteer to help provide assistance to over 10,000 people every month, or organize a food drive on their behalf.
    • JFS}Home Delivered Meals provides home-bound seniors and disabled adults with frozen, nutritious, kosher meals.
    • JFS}Senior Community Dining provides Kosher hot meals served M-F to those ages 60+ at City and Valley dining sites. 
  • Project Chicken Soup provides weekly kosher meal delivery for people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer or other serious illnesses.
  • Tomchei Shabbos focuses specifically on Jews in need and provides food for Shabbat and holidays as well as many other resources.
  • Global Kindness collects leftover prepared kosher food from catered events as well as groceries and distributes to people in Pico-Robertson area.
  • Working under the auspices of the mayor’s office, the LA Food Policy Council is a collaborative network: building connections, catalyzing opportunities, and coordinating activities toward building a sustainable and equitable regional food system for all Angelenos.
  • MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger working to prevent and alleviate hunger among people of all faiths and backgrounds both in the United States and worldwide.
  • California Food Policy Advocates (CFPA) employs a variety of strategies to develop and implement public policies that foster the contributions of nutrition to health, education, productivity and overall well-being.
  • The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank distributes over 60 million pounds of food each year to pantries, feeding programs and shelters and carries a number of direct services for children and seniors. Food Bank Staff also advocates for passage of laws to make the economic safety net stronger.

10 Things You Should Know About Hunger in Los Angeles County

  1. Every day, 30% of the need for food assistance goes unmet.
  2. 85% percent of LAUSD students (approximately 800,000 children) live in low-income homes that qualify them for a free or reduced priced lunch.
  3. Nearly 50% of food assistance goes to children and seniors.
  4. Over the past four years demand for food assistance at LA county food pantries has risen by 73%. For example, SOVA Community Food and Resource Program of Jewish Family Service, which operates three nonsectarian food pantries currently provides food assistance to over 12,000 clients.
  5. Close to 1 in every 3 children does not have access to sufficient healthy food to grow and to learn.
  6. More than 1 out of every 6 people who have needed food assistance in the current economic downturn never received assistance in the past.
  7. The 640 agencies served by the LA Regional Food Bank have seen an 80% increase from 2008 through 2012.
  8. Many low income households spend more than 70% of their income for housing, leaving little money to purchase food.
  9. LA County is #1 in the nation in the amount of federal food benefits unclaimed each year ‐ more than $1.8 billion was lost in 2012.
  10. According to the USDA federal aid is an economic multiplier, greatly benefitting local communities. For every $1.00 invested in CalFresh (formerly known as food stamps), approximately $1.80 is created in economic growth.

Food and Nutrition resources

Infoline LA County - Call 2-1-1 from any phone (even a cell phone)
Referals for all services countywide

Jewish Family Service Central Access Line | 1-877-ASK-4-JFS
One-stop connection to numerous community and government resources.

Find a food pantry near you

Jewish Family Service Nutrition Program | (323) 937-5843
Hot meals M-F to those age 60+, community meal sites and home delivery.

Jewish Family Service SOVA Community Food & Resource Program | (818) 988-7682
Free groceries and supportive services including job search assistance and legal counseling. JFSLA.org/sova

SOVA West – 8846 Pico Blvd near Robertson
SOVA Metro – 7563 Beverly Blvd near Curson
SOVA Valley - 16439 Vanowen St near Hayvenhurst

Tomchei Shabbos | (323) 939-5525
Weekly kosher home-food delivery and other resources.

Project Chicken Soup | (323) 933-5402
Kosher prepared meals delivered to HIV/AIDS patients.

Global Kindness | (310) 402-8882 or (310) 286-0800
Kosher food recovery and clothing/furniture in the Pico-Robertson area.

For more resources (legal, employment etc) visit http://www.jewishla.org/pages/get-help

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