There are many people who are not able to receive the necessities needed to live sustainably. This can lead to many being in poverty. In the U.S. about 30 to 40 percent of food is wasted. The food that restaurants over-prepare, or produce that is not sold in markets all go to waste. Moreover, according to research conducted by UC Davis, 12.3 percent of the people in the United States are in poverty. This is problematic because all the food wasted could instead be used to support those in need. But how can our community solve this dilemma?
The answer can be found in food banks. Food banks are organizations that distribute food to those who have difficulty buying or purchasing the food they need. The Karsh Center, which is located in the Koreatown neighborhood, offers many services and programs to support and serve the community. To address current problems like hunger or illness, the Karsh Center is working hard to support people that live in near the Koreatown neighborhood. The Karsh Center is open everyday of the week except Saturday and the variety of programs and events help many people that live near Koreatown.
An important event that the Karsh Center runs is the food pantry. Every Sunday, the Karsh Center provides food to our community through the Leanse Ratner Food Pantry. They distribute groceries to everyone that comes through their doors. Not only do they give out groceries, the volunteers prepare hygiene kits, diapers, and baby food to give to those who need them. The Mobile Food Pantry delivers these groceries by traveling to affordable-housing complexes. Through these programs, people can receive nutritiously balances groceries and connect to other services they need.
The Karsh Center also provides other programs like vision and dental care and run events to give flu shots and weekly checkups. Elizabeth Green, the Associate Director of Volunteer Engagement shares that, “The Karsh Center Food Pantry at Wilshire Boulevard Temple is an amazing labor of caring and commitment by our volunteers, most of whom are members of Wilshire Boulevard Temple, to our neighbors in Koreatown.” She says that this year is the 30th anniversary of the Food Pantry. During all this time, volunteers have worked every Sunday and were committed to serve their clients.
As well as supporting members of the community in need, the Karsh Center is reducing food that would go to waste. Every week, donations of bread and produce is brought to the food pantry, then packaged by many volunteers. Volunteers come extra early and work hard to have the produce and grocery bags ready for the people that come. Even though this may seem to give a minor impact, the Karsh Center Food Pantry is helping the environment immensely.
Like the Karsh Center Food Pantry, many people should open more organizations to not only help our neighbors, but also effectively reduce the amount of food waste. I hope that by working together, we can give a positive impact to our community.
Rachel Lee, Grade 9
The Science Academy