Orange Co. Friendly Center continues to make a difference in community after 100 years of service

David González Image
Wednesday, April 3, 2024
OC Friendly Center supports families through food program, education
Orange Co. Friendly Center continues to make a difference in community after 100 years of service through food program, education

ORANGE, Calif. (KABC) -- It's a special anniversary for the oldest non-profit in Orange County. Friendly Center has now been serving the community for 100 years and this institution is still making a difference after all these years.

Since opening its doors in 1924, Friendly Center has evolved into a staple of the community to help struggling farmers and their families.

"I feel that I've made people happy by supplying them with the necessities for a daily basis for a meal," said Lucy Castillo, volunteer, Friendly Center.

Today-- Friendly Center focuses on supporting families through food programs and education.

"It does impact them a lot. It's very beneficial to them a lot of these client's live paycheck to paycheck. Some don't know what they will be eating the next day or even day of so this is very helpful to them," said Lizbeth Bugarin, Friendly Center.

Folks like Jovan Mannor and Salina Crespin take advantage of food distributions at Friendly Center's Buena Park location which opened two years ago.

"We really could use the help. Everything is getting really expensive with groceries and stuff and I haven't been working," said Jovan Mannor, food distribution recipient. "We get the free food and then afterward we'll try to eat that and maybe go to the store to get whatever else we need to make meals. It's been saving us a lot of money in these hard times lately.

"Prices have risen. Just rent itself has risen so just to get by this really helps out and seeing all these people struggling and just doing what they can to get by this place really helps out," said Crespin.

After a century of helping others become more self-sufficient-Friendly Center says their mission will continue for as long as there's a need.

To celebrate Friendly Center's 100th anniversary, the mayor will officially declare April 8th as 'Friendly Center Day'.