Published : Monday, September 11, 2017 | 4:47 PM
Feed LA County, a certified 501(c)3 humanitarian non-profit charity based in Pasadena, said it gave away almost 5,000 “grab-and-go” holiday meals to mostly homeless persons in the Pasadena area, Long Beach and downtown Los Angeles on Labor Day, September 4.
The organization, led by Pastor James Jacobs, has been delivering services throughout Los Angeles County and surrounding areas. These include providing and distributing food and hot meals, locate housing, job placement, education, working computers, hygiene supplies, clothing, helping veterans with PTSD, referrals for mental health and drug treatment services, according to Jacobs.
Jacobs, a Vietnam veteran, is also CEO and Founder of the Jacobs Deliverance & Foundation Corporation, which is the umbrella organization for Feed LA County and other charitable organizations that provide services to disadvantaged citizens.
The foundation partners with other groups in the county and calls for volunteer support during its feeding events, like what happened on Labor Day when they went out to distribute meals in LA’s Skid Row, West LA, Santa Monica, Long Beach and Pasadena, according to its website.
“We had enough to put on a great event,” Jacobs said. “We fed people here, we fed people at union station, we fed people at Door of Hope, we fed people at Long Beach. It was really good and we carried about 500 plates downtown to Los Angeles.”
Jacobs said they have been giving away meals and clothing to veterans and homeless persons. But he said their main campaign has to do with finally being able to get the homeless off the streets and into decent housing.
“This is a movement really to get a coalition of organizations together as a united front,” Jacobs said. “Our goal is to get all these organizations together where we can actually establish homes for the homeless out there on the streets, where they can get proper mental health, where they can be in their homes without being a threat to themselves or a threat to the neighborhood.”
Allen Shay, a Pasadena City Commissioner and television producer, was helping out during Monday’s event, coordinating volunteers and making sure the people they were helping get their voices heard on his own TV show, “Our Society.”
“What we initiated back in May during the Memorial Day weekend, they ended up preparing over 2,500 meals for the homeless and we actually took it down to Skid Row and distributed amongst the homeless down there, especially the veterans,” Shay recalls. “I also got to introduce each one of them that received a meal. It’s really interesting to see their story. During this process, I found that there was a number of homeless residents on Skid Row who are from Pasadena.”
Shay said he was amazed with the volunteers who came to help, many of whom were from Pasadena schools.
“It really was beautiful to see how involved these young people were to spend their last holiday of the summer serving others and preparing food and going down to Skid Row and feeding and things of that nature,” Shay said. “The beauty of it is, again, it was really initiated and fostered by Pasadena, especially Northwest Pasadena, without the guidance and assistance or finances of the City.”
Feed LA County coordinates with several other non-profit organizations in the Pasadena area and all across the county. During Monday’s event, Pasadena’s Union Station Homeless Services took part in distributing the meals which had BBQ ribs and chicken, hot links, baked beans, potato and macaroni salad, fruit and vegetables and pies and cakes for dessert.
“We were contacted by Pastor James Jacobs who asked if we were interested in taking part with that event,’ says David Sensente, In-Kind Donations Manager at Union Station Homeless Services. “So what we did was we coordinated because we have different homeless shelters here in Pasadena so we are able to go on and pick up 150 lunches. The clients loved it, especially for the Memorial Day to be able to have a nice lunch. It was great. We were running a little bit late but they didn’t mind; they were more than happy.”
Other volunteers provided their cars, vans and trucks to transport the meals where needed.
During the event, Center of Hope at East Villa Street and Raymond Avenue became the volunteer coordination center.
Pastor Jacobs says they will continue to serve free meals every holiday and will aim for the whole 5,000 beneficiaries next Labor Day.
Allen Shay promises to be there as well.