LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Food insecurity is one of L.A. County's most pressing issues. A recent study from USC found that one out of four residents suffer from food insecurity. That means hundreds of families rely on food banks, but finding healthy options can be challenging. Enter Vegans of L.A., an organization whose mission is to provide access to fresh fruits, vegetables and a variety of plant-based food options.
Gwenna Hunter started the Vegans of L.A. food bank.
"We believe that healthy nutrition is part of everyone's birth right," said Hunter.
Her vegan food bank just celebrated one year of serving the community. For her, it's personal.
"I started with food insecurity myself when I first landed in Los Angeles about 9 years ago, so I know what it's like to not to provide your own basic necessities," said Hunter.
Despite its surge in popularity, she knows eating vegan isn't for everyone. However, she enjoys seeing her recipients realize all the possibilities.
"It's not the cold tofu and lettuce," said Hunter. "People think it is. You can have soul food, you can have anything designed to your culture's cuisine with plants and it's really the seasoning that makes it taste great. So that would give me a high when people say, of my God, this is vegan? So this is a really cool form of activism."
"And its real good food, and I enjoy it because everyone is struggling right now in life and we have to get everything we can," said Alex Rios, food bank recipient.
Vegans of L.A. has two locations open every third Thursday of the month, and on the first Tuesday on the USC campus.
To learn more, check out www.vegansofla.com.