Petrie-Norris names Laguna Food Pantry as city’s nonprofit of the year

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(Left to right) Board Member Cynthia Carson, Executive Director Anne Belyea, Vice-Chair Lesli Henderson, and Board Chair Susan Thomas of Laguna Food Pantry hold a proclamation from Assemblymember Cottie Petrie-Norris. Courtesy of Laguna Food Pantry

Laguna Food Pantry was selected by Assemblymember Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach) as the 2020 Nonprofit of the Year for Laguna Beach.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to recognize the work of the Laguna Food Pantry,” Petrie-Norris said in a statement. “For over 25 years, the Laguna Food Pantry has served thousands of our neighbors in need. Their focus on nutrition has eliminated a daily challenge for so many and provided a vital lifeline for families across Orange County.”

The other awardees include Families Forward of Irvine, Trellis of Costa Mesa, Robyne’s Nest of Huntington Beach, The Foundation of Laguna Woods Village, and Cure Duchenne of Newport Beach

While food insecurity has always been a struggle for many, the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19 has made the need for healthy, sustainable food of paramount significance, Laguna Food Pantry Executive Director Anne Belyea said in a statement.

The demand for food will continue, and Laguna Food Pantry is prepared to serve anyone in need,” Belyea wrote. “We are thankful to Assemblywoman Cottie and the rest of our community for this honor and recognizing the need as we work together to relieve food insecurity.”

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 began, the Pantry has not missed a day in providing groceries regularly to several thousand families throughout the crisis. The nonprofit adapted its operations to serve the community safely, both for those able to visit the Pantry and those confined to home, by transitioning into a drive-through curbside service.

Children who would typically receive breakfast and lunch at school are now relying on their parents, many struggling with employment and childcare responsibilities themselves, for those extra meals every week, Belyea wrote. Seniors confined to their homes are delivered easy-to-prepare and healthy foods through a partnership with Sally’s Fund. In collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs, home-bound veterans receive groceries weekly.

The Laguna Food Pantry is open Monday through Friday from 8 to 10:30 a.m. and now operating with a drive-through curbside distribution system.  Anyone in need is welcome to visit the site once a week. The Laguna Food Pantry is always in need of donations. Support them at lagunafoodpantry.org.

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