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Help Me Help You Combats Hunger & Improves Residents Self-sufficiency

Updated: Jun 13


Long Beach, California – Despite the end of federal pandemic aid, soaring food prices, and a spike in food insecurity, Help Me Help You continued to combat hunger in 2023 by feeding over 60,000 individuals, an additional 8,000 from the previous year. Their services also helped to transition residents in need to lives of self-sufficiency.  

 

According to 2023 CA Food Banks census data analyzed, the greater LA area, including Long Beach, recorded the highest levels of hunger with 31% of residents suffering with food insecurity. California recorded an inflation increase of 3.2% in October 2023 with overall food prices rising by 3.8%, and a 5% increase in meats, poultry, fish, and eggs (U.S Bureau of Statistics).  Additionally, the 3 million households who receive CalFresh to purchase groceries also saw a cut in food assistance amounts by up to 40%.

 

Against these odds, Help Me Help You (HMHY), a community-based non-profit organization, co-located at the City of Long Beach's Multi-Service Center, continued to help more by providing homeless and low-income residents access to free food, public benefits, and economic security. These free services reduce community hunger and poverty, improve nutrition and health, and boost family economic security.  

 

“The end of the federal pandemic aid and Calfresh aid boost, as well as the ongoing rise in food and living costs, saw more residents struggle with food insecurity and the average donors more cautious with prioritizing their financial needs over philanthropy. This meant we had to cut back and strain all limited resources while also striving to feed and serve more residents in need”, said Zina Washington, HMYH Executive Director

 

Fortunately, HMHY fought relentlessly to improve food insecurity and lifestyles by:

  • Adding an 11th Grocery Grab N Go location to service 9th District Council residents in need.

  • Expanding the Long Beach Food Pantry Delivery offering to Persons with Disabilities as well as seniors. This program is recognized by The Community In Action Guide as an evidence-based intervention to reduce malnutrition, increase energy intake, and improve health among older adults.

  • Increasing enrollments and claims awarded for CalFresh, Medi-Cal, and General Relief

  • Implementing the online Money Mastery course to improve financial literacy and to help residents budget, improve credit ratings, access free services, and more.

  • Initiating the 3rd Annual Healthy Habits event at 7 Long Beach elementary schools to increase children's awareness on healthy eating and living habits as well as receive free groceries and services.

 

HMYH also won the Los Angeles Business Journal’s 2023 Diversity, Equity & Inclusion award, recognizing organizations that epitomize diversity, inclusion, and equity in the Los Angeles region.

 

This economic climate is challenging for even the most resilient.  To access these free life-saving services that can transform lives from hunger to self-sufficiency visit: www.helpmehelpu.org/services or help a neighbor in need by donating at www.helpmehelpu.org/donate-now.  

 

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