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Native American Food Bank Helps Many

  • By Chuck Lyons

  God Provides Native American Food Bank in South El Monte collects and gives many thousands of meals a year to people in need and there are still many people who don't know about the services.

  "We are hoping more people find out about the food bank because we have great volunteers providing a great service to many thousands of people," said Allan Espinoza, director and co-founder of the food bank. Espinoza co-founded the organization along with Mrs. Bell Renn'a Lucas.

  Deliveries come in almost daily to the food bank, where they are properly stored and prepared for distribution of which some is at the site and some is trucked to other organizations to help people in other areas.

  Food includes basic food to desserts and dairy products.

  God Provides Native American Food Bank accepts donations from the public and grocery stores so it can help other people. Some of the volunteers have volunteered for many years, said Espinoza. The building is well-organized says Espinosa and the organization has received numerous awards for its service from many different groups.

  Espinoza said Lucas comes from humble beginnings by her father, who was a mixed Native American steel worker, and her mother, who was a first generation Scotch Irish American. Espinoza said Lucas had a heart for giving as a child and he has heard many stories of her giving her new shoes and clothes to the less fortunate children in her neighborhood.

  God Provides Native American Food Bank has been serving local communities since 1966 and was incorporated in 2001. The organization even assists some international organizations. The food bank helped pioneer Albertson's Fresh Rescue Program that help set the guidelines to be used by more than 400 Albertson's grocery store locations and was accepted by Feeding America Food Rescue.

  The food bank also has strongly supported active USA military and veterans stand-downs, veteran's homes and many veteran's organizations throughout Southern California, stated Espinoza. The food bank program also is used by many government agencies such as County of Los Angeles Mental Health, Probation Department, Sheriff's Department, Employment Development Department, Veteran's Administration and more, said Espinoza. In addition, he said the food bank supports many faith based street outreaches and youth groups.

  Espinoza emphasized "we are available to all those in need and who demonstrate our values of giving, respectfulness, family values and faith. Over the years Lucas has kept a watchful eye on the growth of our organization so that we maintain our basic principals and dedication to be community servants and offer aide to the best of our abilities."

  Lucas' efforts with God Provides Native American Food Bank has included participation in music and preaching outreaches all over Los Angeles County and at Skid Row in Los Angeles assisting individuals and families with food and the ability to leave the streets, continued Espinoza. The food bank works with individuals willing to change their life who are seeking drug and alcohol rehabilitation.

  The food bank has received numerous awards from County of Los Angeles sheriffs, education, recreation and parks, and mental health departments, California Legislative Assembly, US Department of Commerce, Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority, San Gabriel Valley Conservation and Service Corp., Southern California Veterans Administration, United States Senate, and many cities and organizational awards, said Espinoza.

  Lucas also works with California Native American Chamber of Commerce First Annual Scholarship Fund, and assisting Native American Veterans Association, United American Indian Involvement, and many other Native American Indian Organizations, said a food bank spokesperson.

  "People can find out more information about our group and donate online at www.godprovidesministry.org," suggested Espinoza. The organization is located at 2453 Troy Ave., South El Monte, CA 91733, near Rosemead Boulevard and Rush, and the telephone number is 626-442-4273.

 

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