LA announces ‘GIVEN’ initiative to help 10,000 vulnerable households get food, other needs for holiday season

THE City of Los Angeles has launched the Grocery Intervention for Vital Emergency Needs (GIVEN) initiative to provide thousands of low-income Angelenos in need with $300 in cash assistance to help with food and other essentials this holiday season.

The program, announced on Friday, December 18, is a partnership between Mayor Eric Garcetti and the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles.

“Our most vulnerable neighbors can’t wait for the end of the pandemic to get relief, and there is no greater gift we can give our fellow Angelenos right now than the ability to put food on the table and cover basic necessities,” said Garcetti. “GIVEN is the perfect present this holiday season — a chance to lift up people in a time of dire need and make a small, but meaningful difference as too many families come face-to-face with the devastating health and economic impacts of COVID-19.”

GIVEN has been seeded with a $550,000 contribution from the Mayor’s Fund, and the effort aims to grow that number to $3 million in order to provide a one-time benefit to at least 10,000 households served by non-profit organizations. Anyone who wishes to donate and help fund this vital initiative can visit MayorsFundLA.org/COVID19 to learn more.

More than a quarter of LA County households experienced at least some food insecurity at the onset of the COVID-19 crisis — a situation intensified by the ongoing economic blow of the pandemic, according to studies by the USC Dornsife Public Exchange. One report found that people experiencing food insecurity were almost twice as likely to have been infected with COVID-19 (11.6%), compared to people who were food secure (6.4%).

GIVEN builds on a series of initiatives developed by Mayor Garcetti and the City to support Angelenos who have received limited assistance from the federal government during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier this month, Garcetti announced the Secure Emergency Relief for Vulnerable Employees (SERVE) initiative to provide 4,000 local food-service workers with a one-time $800 stipend. The Mayor also launched the Angeleno Card Initiative early on in the pandemic, which raised more than $36 million to help more than 105,000 Angelenos with direct financial assistance.

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