Food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic has reached an all-time high in the greater Los Angeles area. In fall 2020, Dr. Rich Matzen’s “Proposal and Grant Writing” course sought to help students gain an understanding of how to identify not-for-profit hunger abatement organizations that run food pantries in our area. This investigation, however, went well beyond an internet search. The class teamed with the Global Hunger Foundation, directed by CoLA’s Dr. H. Eric Schockman, which provided $2,000 for the students to award to two organizations: the Valley Food Bank and MEND (Meet Each Need with Dignity), both located in Pacoima.
For the class’s final project, students presented the results of their investigations, which included reviewing the nonprofit’s 990 form, its administrative or operational costs, and its rating as a nonprofit. They also interviewed the nonprofits’ directors or main administrators about how exactly they would spend a $1,000 grant if received. Through this process, the students learned how to research a nonprofit and the deep need for food in the L.A. area. “We were especially happy to help make these awards to the nonprofits during the pandemic,” Dr. Matzen said. “During the pandemic, food insecurity has increased greatly, but donations and resources for nonprofit food pantries are becoming more difficult to find.”
Last Updated on February 25, 2021.