June is Pride Month, and this year, we’ve partnered with a major force for good in L.A.’s LGBTQ+ community: the Los Angeles LGBT Center.
Since 1969, the Los Angeles LGBT Center has pioneered and facilitated much-needed services such as health, social services and housing, culture and education, and leadership and advocacy programs for the LGBTQ+ community. With about 800 employees, the Center has been able to provide services for more LGBTQ+ people than any other organization in the world.
Last year, when food pantries across the city shut down due to COVID, the Center added Pride Pantry to its program roster. “Pride Pantry began last May, and it was developed in direct response to COVID,” said Dina Valenzuela, Administrative and Events Coordinator for the Culinary Arts Department at the Los Angeles LGBT Center. “What we were hearing, particularly from our youth and senior clients that were either experiencing homelessness at the time, or had been homeless, was that they were having difficulties getting food from their normal distribution places—because when the pandemic hit, everything was closing.” Those experiencing homelessness had nowhere to turn for the meals they normally relied on.
“So, the Center did what it always does in times of crisis,” said Valenzuela, “which is to put our heads together and figure out: how do we provide a solution?” The Center devised a plan to create a new service to address food insecurity for their clients by distributing boxes of dried goods and bags of fresh produce on a weekly basis to Center clients in need of meals. With that, Pride Pantry was born.
Inspired by their ongoing mission and innovative problem-solving, we wanted to get involved. As temperatures rise, hydration becomes that much more important—particularly for those who are experiencing homelessness. We donated 78,000 servings of Liquid I.V. to Pride Pantry to help the Los Angeles LGBT Center clients stay hydrated. Ten servings will be added to all dried goods boxes weekly from June to September, providing essential hydration support for those who need it most.
“For some, the groceries that they’re receiving from us could be all that they’re getting for the week,” Valenzuela said. “If we’re able to provide our clients with a product like Liquid I.V., which is a non-GMO electrolyte that they can put in water, it hydrates them and goes hand-in-hand with trying to keep them healthy. Especially as it heats up to triple digits, I think Liquid I.V. is a really important product to distribute to our clients.” We’re honored to support such a worthy cause.