On Wednesday, Senator Ben Allen (D – Santa Monica) recognized Westside Food Bank as Senate District 26’s Nonprofit of the Year. Outstanding nonprofit honorees from legislative districts across the state attended a luncheon in Sacramento. Executive Director, Bruce Rankin, was unable to attend the ceremony, but was represented by his wife, Catherine Wagar, who accepted the award from Senator Allen.
For over thirty years, Westside Food Bank has distributed nutritious food to vulnerable people and reduced food waste in District 26. Currently, Westside Food Bank provides essential food assistance to 70 Westside social services agencies, reaching over 105,000 people per year, half of whom are children. Westside Food Bank maintains high impact partnerships in the local community, including running a vegetable garden and weekly produce distribution for veterans at the West Los Angeles VA Campus and food pantries at UCLA, West Los Angeles College and Santa Monica College. WSFB Executive Director, Bruce Rankin has also led efforts to address poverty through his leadership in the Westside Coalition and as a founding board member of the California Association of Food Banks.
“Food insecurity and hunger are issues that are sometimes hidden but nevertheless devastating for families and individuals in our community. For decades, Westside Food Bank has effectively combatted hunger in our community, helping the most vulnerable amongst us get the nutrition they need to lead more fulfilling lives. I am grateful to Bruce Rankin for his leadership of this important organization and I am proud to honor Westside Food Bank as Nonprofit of the Year.”
“Westside Food Bank is proud and honored to be named nonprofit of the year by Senator Ben Allen. For more than 30 years the nutritious foods we’ve provided to local agencies meant that families could stay housed, children received the nutrients necessary for proper growth and development, and vulnerable people did not experience an interruption in their access to food. Senator Allen and his staff are fantastic partners and committed advocates of our hunger relief work. This honor gives us a chance to showcase our work to a wider audience and is helping us to better connect with other potential supporters. We look forward to continuing to serve the community as efficiently as possible and to working with Senator Allen to alleviate hunger and food insecurity in our community,” said Bruce Rankin.