A Letter to First Time Clients

Welcome to SOVA!

Coming to a food pantry for help for the first time can be difficult for anyone. We want to make your experience as pleasant as possible. We hope this brief explanation of our services will help make today’s visit a good one for you.

Each month, over 9,000 men, women and children visit a JFS { SOVA pantry for free groceries and supportive services. To be eligible for complete food distribution, we will ask you to write your name, address and the number of family members living in your household on the EFAP form at the front desk, confirm that your income is below the limits established by the USDA and the program, complete a short application form and show official photo identification of each adult family member and birth certificates for all children.  You will also be asked to show proof that you reside within our service area. [Click here for Eligibility Guidelines]

Your first stop will be our Resource Center, where a friendly volunteer will review the information you provided in your application and help you complete your registration as a SOVA client. You will also have the chance to ask any questions you have about SOVA and the many services we offer. The Resource Center volunteer will assist you with your first grocery order.

Groceries ____________________________________________________________________

Every family is allowed to come to SOVA once each calendar month for an emergency 5-day supply of food. After completing your enrollment as a SOVA client, we will submit your first grocery order today. SOVA wants you to be able to select the foods that you take home. A volunteer will explain what food we have available and you can choose the foods you like.

We have a wide variety of canned and packaged goods such as meats, fish, soup, vegetables, fruit, juice, rice, beans, pasta, cereals, and bread. Because balanced nutrition is important, we carry a wide variety of fresh produce – items such as apples, oranges, bananas, lettuce, carrots, potatoes and onions. And, whenever possible, we include fresh meat, poultry, and dairy products including milk, eggs, yogurt, and cheese.

We also have personal care items such as soap, shampoo, toothpaste, razors, and diapers for the babies. Please tell us about any special dietary restrictions you have – for example low-sodium, low-sugar, kosher, or vegetarian, and we will do our best to satisfy these needs.

Resource Center ______________________________________________________________

Although the free grocery distribution brings most people to SOVA for their first visit, you will learn in the Resource Center about other programs and services where we may be able to provide referrals, such as:

  • Medical and Health Services
  • Dental and Vision Services
  • Utility Bill Assistance
  • Clothing and Furnishings
  • Housing and Shelters
  • Financial Aid
  • Legal Services
  • Employment and Job Training
  • Food Stamps
  • Child Care and Family Services
  • Senior Services
  • Immigration Issues
  • Veterans Benefits
  • Government Programs
  • Drug/Alcohol Rehab

Please ask the Resource Center volunteer if you need help in any of these areas. And please remember that the services of our Resource Center are available to you every day SOVA is open so you can come back any time you need assistance.

Community Connections ______________________________________________________

In addition to referrals to community programs, each pantry schedules professionals who provide:

  • Food Stamp (CalFresh) & Medi-Cal Enrollment – Employees from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) are available in our pantries 1-2 times each week to assist you in getting the government benefits to which you may be qualified.
  • Legal Counseling – Skilled legal professionals from Bet Tzedek are in our pantry sites providing free assistance with a wide range of legal questions and problems. (Advance appointment required)
  • Homeless Services – If you need assistance with homeless services, experienced counselors from P.A.T.H are at our West side location every Thursday.

Please ask for a complete calendar of services and return when the service you need is being offered.

Thank you for visiting us today!

Best Regards,
The Staff of JFS { SOVA


SOVA Community Food & Resource Program  - Click For Locations & Hours
Main Office: 16439 Vanowen Street Van Nuys, CA 91406   818-988-7682

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