Inglewood church's food giveaway feeds hundreds every week

Every Friday in front of The Place of Grace in Inglewood, Clarence E. McClendon Ministries gives away food to hundreds of families in the community.
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (KABC) -- What began as a simple food drive to help the Inglewood community, has turned into a weekly event that some community members depend on to feed their families.

"I've been coming for a month," said Inglewood resident Ana Moreno said. "It's a long line, but it helps a lot with the food that we get here in the household. We're a family of six with one job, so it's a blessing."

Clarence E. McClendon Ministries started the giveaway on Good Friday this year and it's been going strong ever since. It takes place every Friday in front of The Place of Grace. Officials said they started this to help families during the pandemic.

"We are here every week, because we saw a need in our community and we decided to step up and help with this pandemic," said Judith Norman, the on-site coordinator. "So many people are worried about things like providing food for their family."

Church officials said when they first started they were feeding about 50 families a week. Currently they're feeding about 500 to 700 families a week. They've also made it convenient for families without a car by adding a walk-up line as well as having the drive-thru line.

"A lot of people have lost their jobs because of the pandemic and they need food," said Inglewood resident Laurie Tolbert. "They don't have a job and they have children, and they need this."

When they first got started, Clarence E. McClendon Ministries didn't have any partners, but now they partner with various organizations to make the distributions happen including Costco and Food 4 Less.

"When your bellies are full, your mind is full," said Cora Merriweather in charge of partner relations for the event. "But when you got a hungry belly, it kind of messes with your head."

"This is not something that we're just doing because of the pandemic," Norman said. "We're here for the long haul. We are committed to serving this community."

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