Feeding Program in Los Angeles

Every Sunday early morning, a long line of people is waiting close to the corner of 5th St and San Pedro St in Los Angeles, an area known as Skid Row. People are full of expectations for an old white Ford van arriving with the materials for their breakfast. They get plastic snack bags and a spoon to enjoy their milky cereal. They also get miscellaneous fruit, Starbucks pastries, and fresh bread and bagels from Panera. Welcome to MamaD’s Kitchen.

Since the late 80s, the Amurt feeding project in Los Angeles, in association with Mamadi’s Kitchen, has been feeding the low-income neighbourhood of Mid City with boxes of groceries for low-income families and Senior Citizens. AMURT is also providing the street residents of Los Angeles Downtown Skid Row with Sunday breakfast and grocery bags. We also feed them with a warm plate of oatmeal and cinnamon and give them hot tea (hibiscus) and toast.

On Friday, preparation time and volunteers gather 120 to 200 bags of breakfast groceries to accompany the hot oatmeal we distribute to them at Skid Row on Sundays. The bag consists of energy bars, yoghurts, fruits, juices, water, candy, pastries, walnuts, almonds, and miscellaneous items such as dates, oranges, bananas, and others. At S. Norton Street in Los Angeles, we prepare boxes on Wednesday and fill them early Thursday morning with groceries, water, fruit, dairy, eggs, meat, and grain.

Our team of volunteers, around 15 to 20 people, has dedicated their time to accomplish this regularly over the last two decades. The people sincerely appreciate our presence and will to serve them; they thank us in many ways, invoke God, and are socially super courteous and kind in return. They feel inspired to politeness and assist elders and ladies in the line and smile radiantly. We, in turn, get even more satisfaction and thankful for the opportunity to make a little difference in other people’s lives. It is a transformative experience that service brings to us all and truly makes our day.

Our donors often witnessed this work and decided to support it so that we can continue this wonderful service sustainably. The younger generation joins us and gets inspiration to help; they will eventually become part of our team and carry it forward. This also is very inspiring to all of us here at AMURT and Mamadi’s Kitchen.
Recently, we started coordinating with Sayed, a very gentle soul from a nearby Restaurant; he distributed his rice and chicken on the same day and time so that we formed a gigantic line of people and gave them warm meals and breakfast groceries every Sunday.
We also give people clothes, blankets, hygiene kits, sleeping bags, mats, and other articles to help people face the rigours of the street regularly and periodically. For this purpose, we assembled at McArthur Park in Central Los Angeles and distributed 120 blankets; the same event was replicated at the skid roll for years 2022 and 2023. Many other items were procured for street residents with special requests over the years, including emergency tickets, tents, towels, sheets, etc. We count on a Ford Van for our transportation and a cool room with a commercial refrigerator for storage. We also have shelves to store miscellaneous items.
In cooperation with St. John Family and Children Center, we held a camp at our S. Norton Ave facility, and close to 200 people got vaccinated for COVID-19 in 2022. Their dedicated personnel helped all those in our food line in need of assistance, and I hope we can cooperate with them again should the necessity appear in the future. We also thank them for their dedication and service to the low-income families of Los Angeles mid-city and Hancock Park.
We count on the support of all people of goodwill, altruists, and service-minded people who feel for those in need and look forward with optimism despite all the adversities that one has to face daily to continue being of service. We look forward to improving and increasing our ability to serve the communities of Los Angeles Hancock Park and Central LA for years to come, both in terms of quantity and quality of service.
Dedicated volunteers in Los Angles make the feeding program possibles