Alicia and her husband moved to the West Coast in 2018. Recently married, they decided to set down roots in Los Angeles so that Alicia’s husband could invest in his family’s local business. The move was also designed to allow Alicia to continue to focus full-time on creating and selling her artwork. After a short time, they realized that the cost of living required Alicia to put aside her startup visual arts business and find stable employment. When securing a job took longer than expected, they decided to try out the local food pantry to help make ends meet.
“We were really surprised at the variety and quality of the food available for those in need,” Alicia said. “Plus, it was fun to try foods that I wouldn’t have thought to purchase in my usual shopping routine.”
After four months of searching, Alicia found a job that allows her to meaningfully serve her community and free her creativity from financial pressure. She is using her fine arts degree to create more effective visual communication in her new public service position.
Her husband added: “I think the best thing about the Food Bank is that it made us feel hopeful and lucky to have a local organization serving people in need and managing its resources effectively by providing quality food which could otherwise go to waste. This ‘hand-up’ made all the difference for us to live free of fear during a period of crucial growth. Being treated respectfully in our time of need not only grew our gratefulness to our new community, but also our empathy and respect for others in need. We work hard to bring value to our community, regardless of how much money it brings us, and now that we are back on our feet we can continue to do so thanks to the Valley Food Bank.”