Nonprofit that feeds homeless, hungry in MacArthur Park on hold due to COVID-19

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- "Lunch in the Park" is a nonprofit supporting homeless residents and individuals that are food insecure by providing free lunches twice a week in Los Angeles' MacArthur Park.

Leslie Song founded Lunch in the Park late last year.

"It all home cooked. I try to make it healthy," she said.

But sadly, the service is now on hold after two volunteers tested positive for COVID-19.

"I worry about the rest of them. I worry about my volunteers. And then I worry about all the people standing in line, all the people that come up to us," Song said.

Song and her volunteers served hot meals on Mondays and Fridays. And similar to county food distributions, Lunch in the Park saw increased demand since the pandemic hit.

Volunteers and those receiving meals wore face coverings, but with coronavirus hospitalizations on the rise in Los Angeles County, Song thinks temporarily suspending the service is the right call.

"You feel like you're safe but you still can get it, and I think all of the people in the park are at risk now. It's not only the people who don't wear masks who can contract it," said Song.

Each Lunch in the Park provided 100 meals to people who might otherwise go hungry. That's why Leslie says she can't wait for a vaccine to resume operations.

But she does want to see COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations plateau with a goal of relaunching in September.

"I got so many donations and expressions of support from people, and some were really, really special. Wouldn't be doing it without that," she said.

To support Lunch in the Park, you can donate to the nonprofit's GoFundMe.

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