FeedCulver Announces Long-Term Commitment to Fighting Local Food Insecurity
January 6, 2022
When the pandemic struck in 2020, a team of Culver City leaders began a bold, innovative plan that has been a lifeline for both food-insecure residents and local restaurants.
Dubbed FeedCulver, the group began purchasing meals from local restaurants and developing an infrastructure to deliver those meals to families who had been adversely impacted by the pandemic. In the past 20 months, the group has provided more than 65,000 meals to those who are food insecure.
After almost two years of providing free, hot meals from local restaurants to those in need, FeedCulver has announced that it will be transitioning to providing on-going fundraising support to Grace Diner and other local organizations dedicated to fighting food insecurity.
“We were on a call with local restaurants, and we were talking about how they were really struggling with the lockdown, and then we started talking about all those who were losing work due to the pandemic and couldn’t afford to put food on the table” said Eric Sims, Vice President of the Culver City dba. “I never dreamed that it would be so successful and last this long.”
“When Eric and I met, we decided to build a team of ‘doers’ in our community to quickly get FeedCulver up and running,” said Culver City Councilmember Göran Eriksson. “It took us less than a month from first idea to first donations to first meals served”
The FeedCulver team includes Sims, Eriksson, former Culver City Mayor Jeff Cooper, local resident Dan O’Brien, restaurateur Allan Shulman, Culvr Hotel CFO Kathy Johnson, Culver City Chamber of Commerce President Colin Diaz and former Culver City Mayor Thomas Small.
Since its inception, FeedCulver has raised close to $700,000 and provided more than 65,000 hot meals. The program is entirely led, organized and supported by volunteers; and all of the money raised has gone directly to feeding those in need in the community. In all, close to 150 volunteers have been involved making FeedCulver a very successful program
“At a time when restaurants in our community – and everywhere – were struggling to stay afloat, FeedCulver helped all of us keep the doors open while enabling us to give back to our community at the same time,” said Shulman, who owns Culver City’s Akasha Restaurant. “We were pleased to be a part FeedCulver and love knowing that something like this, born out of the pandemic, will continue to live on a help those in need.”
All of the meals provided through FeedCulver were distributed at no charge through Grace Lutheran Church via its Grace Diner program. Prior to the pandemic, this program provided up to 100 meals, one day per week. But with the support of FeedCulver and additional fundraising, Grace Diner has been able to provide hot meals to more than 200 people per day, five days per week since April 2020.
“So many families hit hard by the pandemic found themselves struggling to put food on the table, and we are so happy that FeedCulver could step in and fill the void,” Johnson said. “Now, as we transition our focus, we are hopeful that we can continue to raise the funds necessary to make sure no one in Culver City goes hungry.”
Starting in January, 2022, FeedCulver will shift away from purchasing hot meals from restaurants and towards raising funds and providing support to Grace Diner and other local organizations as an ongoing program of the Exchange Club of Culver City.
“We are very excited that many of the local restaurants that have participated in FeedCulver over then past 20 months are back on their feet and actually unable to handle all the additional meal preparation FeedCulver requires,” Cooper said. “Fortunately, the Grace Diner caterer has the ability to scale up and continue to provide the meals that many food-insecure families and individuals have come to count on. So, in order to keep the nutritional meals coming for those in need, we will be working hard to raise funds the keep Grace Diner’s efforts going strong.”
For more information and to make a donation, please visit http://www.FeedCulver.org