South LA church offers mini-grocery store with food bank donations: 'The need is great'

Throughout the pandemic, the church has gone from having the mini-store open one day a week to two days a week.
SOUTH LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Before the gate opened at 9 a.m. on Thursday, there were close to 100 people in line outside of the First New Christian Missionary Baptist Church in South Los Angeles.

Inside, there's a room that's set up like a small grocery store with food supplied by the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.

South L.A. residents can shop for just about anything they need.

"The need is great in this community," said Tyrone Boyle, one of the pastors of the church.

Throughout the pandemic, the church has gone from having the mini-store open one day a week to two days a week.

Now, as the effects of inflation take its toll, they're also trickling down into South L.A.

"We've been doing this for about 30 years, and then when the pandemic hit, we usually do about 150 people," said Boyle. "That jumped to about 300 to 400 people, and then we had to go Thursday and Friday.

Boyle said church staff feeds up to 500 people each of those days.

Meanwhile, ABC7, Stater Bros. Markets, Subaru, ESPN LA 710 AM, and Southern California regional food banks are partnering up for the 11th Annual Feed SoCal Food Drive throughout Southern California.

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Southern California regional food banks have increased food distribution by more than 70% reaching over 200,000 people every week.

Along with the food drives, food banks are also providing meals for children during throughout the summer.

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"What we're finding now is a lot of people in line, they're working, or someone in the household is working, but the push of these price increases is really hitting them in a significant way," said President and CEO of the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank Michael Flood. "I don't think anyone is expecting inflation to go away in the next month or two."

To learn more about Feed SoCal and how you can donate, click here.

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