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Help Me Help You Long Beach Food Pantries Feed Mouths and Fill Hearts

Updated: Dec 19, 2022


Cardboard boxes are stacked so high, they almost reach the ceiling beams. Somewhere buried between the mounds of non-perishables sits a speaker blasting Blackstreet’s “No Diggity.” The mood is cheery, yet productive. A volunteer working the assembly line yells across the warehouse “We’re out of beans!” and a colleague quickly grabs another box from the stockpile. Before too long, over 200 food bundles are packaged and ready for distribution. This is a typical Friday morning at Help Me Help You (HMHY).


Founded in 2002, HMHY is a non-profit organization located in Long Beach, CA. Its mission is to serve underprivileged communities by offering services including weekly food pantries, benefit enrollment services, and wellness education resources. The food pantry is their biggest program, serving nearly 1,000 residents a week through both drive-thru pantries and food deliveries.


HMHYs food pantry program would not be possible without the hard work of its community volunteers. Ranging between college students and local retirees, HMHY volunteers help with tasks such as restocking the pantry, bagging groceries, and distributing food bundles. Volunteer opportunities are available every Wednesday and Friday. To sign up to become a volunteer, visit helpmehelpu.org/volunteer.


HMHY is considered a Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) under federal government guidelines. Food recipients can be from anywhere in California, but typically include residents from the greater LA area. As long as recipients meet the income guidelines (posted at all HMHY pantry distribution locations), they are eligible to receive free food services.


HMHY relies on a variety of organizations to fund their programs and stock their pantries. The USDA Food Bank of Southern California provides HMHY with canned goods, shelf-stable items, and occasionally frozen foods. Food Forward, a company that takes excess produce from farmlands and distributes them to food pantries, provides HMHY with their fresh produce inventory. Additionally, Vice Mayor of Long Beach, Rex Richardson, recently launched a food hub in the ninth district that HMHY frequently utilizes. To view a complete list of HMHY sponsors or to become a sponsor, visit helpmehelpu.org/sponsors.


As of 2019, nearly 17% of Long Beach residents remain below the poverty line (U.S. Census Bureau). Despite these troubling statistics, HMHY is doing its part to keep the city well-fed and help individuals in need get back on their feet. To keep up to date with all HMHY future events, follow them on Instagram at @helpmehelpyou_lb.


written by: Hannah Torres, HMHY Volunteer

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