Assemblymember Nazarian, Senator Hertzberg & Jewish Family Service LA Celebrate $5.7 Million to Expand Life-Saving Food Program
LOS ANGELES, CA—Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian (D-Sherman Oaks) and Senator Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) celebrated California’s $5.7 million 2021 budget allocation to expand Jewish Family Service LA’s SOVA Community Food & Resource Program (JFS SOVA) in Van Nuys on Thursday.
“JFS SOVA is a lifeline to my community, the entire Valley, and those struggling across all of LA,” said Assemblymember Nazarian, “This $5.7 million dollar investment is critical to allow JFS SOVA to continue providing life-saving groceries and support to the ever-growing number of individuals and families struggling to meet their most basic needs.”
Assemblymember Nazarian and Senator Hertzberg worked to secure the vital funding during the state’s budget process in the State Assembly and Senate, respectively.
“This funding is essential to feeding countless families here in the Valley,” said Senator Hertzberg. “Our Valley neighborhoods have relied on Jewish Family Service LA for decades and the state’s investment recognizes the unique role it plays in the health and stability of our community, especially as we continue to face the ongoing impacts of the pandemic.”
Since 1983, JFS SOVA has provided critical resources to families throughout Los Angeles who are experiencing poverty and hunger. JFS SOVA in Van Nuys is the program’s central hub and is easily accessible by public transportation, bicycle, or car. As a fixture in the San Fernando Valley for decades and renting at its current location since 2005, JFS SOVA has deep connections with its clients, community and partners.
Jewish Family Service LA will use this allocation to purchase the property JFS SOVA has been renting in order to protect current service levels and ensure continued critical operations in the Van Nuys area. Taking ownership of the site means Jewish Family Service LA can plan to fully rehab the existing warehouse and pantry site to add additional refrigeration/freezer capacity that will allow them to provide more, healthier groceries to people in need. With the ability to incorporate the empty storefronts into program delivery and upgrade those spaces, Jewish Family Service LA will be able to enhance and expand the services available on-site to individuals and families that need them.
“For more than 40 years, the JFS SOVA has been a lifeline for those facing hunger in Los Angeles. Jewish Family Service LA is deeply grateful for Assemblymember Nazarian and Senator Hertzberg’s leadership which will allow us to transform a rental property into a permanent home with expanded service capacity. Together, they are a strong voice in the state legislature and their commitment to the community will ensure that JFS can continue to provide much needed groceries and wrap-around services for Angelenos of all backgrounds,” stated Eli Veitzer, President & CEO, and Nina Tassler, Board Chair, Jewish Family Service LA, “This remarkable investment by the State of California will benefit individuals and families throughout the San Fernando Valley for generations to come.”
The current JFS SOVA Community Food & Resource Program in Van Nuys houses a 5-day per week food pantry distribution center, counseling, and case management offices, drop in space for partner organizations, warehouse space and program administration. Even before the current crisis, it was very difficult for people living in poverty to access multiple services.
Throughout the pandemic, JFS SOVA rapidly transitioned and expanded its services:
- Providing nutritious food to more than 5,700 people each month; over 2.9 million pounds of groceries since the pandemic began.
- Delivering groceries to the doors of over 1,300 homebound older adults and people with differing abilities each month.
- Providing telephonic access to multilingual social workers to help with benefit enrollment and other critical needs.
Adrin Nazarian represents the 46th Assembly District, serving the San Fernando Valley communities of Hollywood Hills, Lake Balboa, North Hills, North Hollywood, Panorama City, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Toluca Lake, Valley Glen, Universal City, Van Nuys, and Valley Village. He is Chair of the Assembly Committee on Aging & Long Term Care Learn more at: https://a46.asmdc.org/
Majority Leader Bob Hertzberg represents nearly one million San Fernando Valley residents of Senate District 18, which includes part of Burbank and the following communities in Los Angeles: Arleta, Granada Hills, Hansen Dam, Lake View Terrace, Mission Hills, North Hills, North Hollywood, part of Northridge, Pacoima, Panorama City, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, part of Sun Valley, Sylmar, Toluca Lake, Valley Glen, Valley Village, Van Nuys, the City of San Fernando and Universal City. Learn more at senate.ca.gov/hertzberg.