Food pantries near CSUN

Samantha Bravo, Reporter

During the indefinite closure of schools, restaurants and entertainment venues to slow the spread of COVID-19, food options are becoming slim. California Governor Gavin Newsom and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti both issued stay-at-home orders last week. The executive decisions mandated the immediate closures of businesses, except for those providing essential services such as food and health centers.

On March 20, Newsom announced he was deploying the California National Guard to assist food bank distributions statewide, stating that food banks throughout California have been affected by a decline in volunteers. The short-term deployment of the National Guard will assist in prepared packages for those most vulnerable starting March 23.

“It’s in these times of crisis that Californians are at their best, coming to the aid of those in their community who are most in need,” Newsom said in a press conference. “Food banks provide a critical lifeline for families, and are needed now more than ever. Families across our state are suddenly losing work, and millions of Californians most vulnerable to COVID-19 are staying home to protect their health and the health of others. I ask all Californians who are able to join our Neighbor-to-Neighbor campaign to safely assist those in need in your community.”

While CSUN’s food pantry is closed until further notice, other food assistance services near campus continue to be available.

Here are some nonprofits and other organizations around CSUN that are offering assistance:

Note: Hours are subject to change. Call to confirm hours of operation.

Sova Valley Food Pantry
Open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
16439 Vanowen St., Van Nuys
Sova provides free groceries and services to over 9,000 individuals each month.

Houses of Light Church Corporation
818-998 2931
Open on Saturdays from 6:30 – 7 a.m. in Building 1. 19359 Londelius St., Northridge
Their mission is to help individuals experiencing financial difficulties and provide food for over 100 families a week.

Lighthouse of San Fernando
Open on Saturdays from 8:30 – 10:30 a.m.
622 N Maclay Ave., San Fernando
Lighthouse Foursquare runs a food pantry on Saturdays with no questions asked of patrons.

West Valley Food Pantry
Open Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Fridays 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
5700 Rudnick Ave., Woodland Hills
Prince of Peace Episopal, where West Valley Food Pantry is located, is known for hosting monthly community dinners at the end of the month.

North Valley Caring Services
Open Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
15453 Rayen St., North Hills
Due to a high volume of participants and concerns regarding COVID-19, the North Valley Caring Services has decided to make pantry adjustments. All groceries will be pre-packaged and given to participants through a drive-thru distribution. A valid ID is required to use the service.

Los Angeles Unified School District implemented 60 “Grab & Go” centers on March 20 in partnership with the Red Cross. The centers will provide pre-K students with two meals. Distribution is on weekdays, from 7 – 11 a.m. and is set for drive-through operation. For questions about COVID-19, their hotline is (213) 443-1300 Monday through Saturday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The CSUN Food Pantry will be operational this week on March 24 and March 25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. In response to COVID-19, the food pantry will use students’ MataSync QR Codes as a check-in method to enter the food pantry located at Laurel Hall. Students can access the QR Code by logging into CSUN Matasync with their CSUN portal username and password, and click on event pass which grants access to the QR Code needed to check in. The QR Code can be saved in Apple Wallet or Google Pay.