The local organization hosts a weekly food giveaway at Sole Folks in Leimert Park, as well as in Compton and San Pedro.
By Megan Reed
Let’s Be Whole has provided local families with fresh fruits, vegetables, meat and other groceries for the past two years, and their efforts have been even greater during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We had a big impact in our community during the pandemic because a lot of people lost their jobs,” said Nina Womack, founder of Let’s Be Whole. “People told me it was just enough to keep them going until their next paycheck. This helps reduce the amount people spend on groceries. “
Womack hosts the Mobile Healthy Food Pantry at Sole Folks in Leimert Park Village on Wednesdays at 12:30 p.m., George Washington Carver Park in Compton on Thursdays 1 and 3 at 12:30 p.m. and at the YWCA in San Pedro on Fridays at 1:30 p.m.
Many of the food items come from large grocery stores and other grocery stores, and the food gifts go to anyone who needs them.
“We provide nutrition security to underserved communities who do not have the opportunity to shop at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s,” Womack said. “It’s not just for the poor, it’s for everyone. It’s free to the community and there is no income requirement. “
Womack grew up in South Los Angeles, so helping her community is of great importance to her. She also helps people abroad, as she recently returned from Ghana to West Africa. She was installed as the queen mother of a village.
“I am working to expand this pantry not only here in Los Angeles, but also in Africa,” she said. “I look forward to bridging the gap between the diasporas here in South Los Angeles and with our people in Africa. Through food, we hope we can make that connection. “
Sole Folks co-founder Akil West praised a partnership with Let’s Be Whole because he’s also from South Los Angeles. He attended Audubon Middle School and Crenshaw High School, and he wrote a children’s book called “I Grow My Own Food”. The book is about a young girl who wants to create her own garden.
Local residents benefit greatly from the partnership between Let’s Be Whole and Sole Folks.
“This program is the most effective because it shows our love for the community,” West said. “There aren’t many options here in Leimert Park due to the closure of one of our larger grocery stores (Ralphs on Crenshaw Boulevard and Slauson Avenue). And the only other within a mile radius (Albertsons at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza) is also going to close for construction. It is important for organizations like Let’s Be Whole to help feed this community in a situation where there is disease.