Beginning in January 2008, Real Medicine Foundation partnered with Whole Foods Market Venice, CA to provide the less fortunate of South Los Angeles with healthy food alternatives to help battle the alarmingly high incidents of heart disease, diabetes and obesity within the community.  The neighborhood affected has a median household income of $41,175, with an average of 3 members per household. The community has been hit particularly hard by the economic crisis, is well above the national average for risk of crimes being committed, lower than average education levels, and household expenditures are below average.

photo: Whole Foods shopping carts full

Our food program is managed through the Florence & Western Medical Center that along with serving as a distribution point for the donated food, also provides weekly physical therapy services, adult/child health and fitness through partial support by RMF.

Three days a week, RMF volunteer Bradley Ritchie drives to the Whole Foods Market Venice location and fills his car with food for the patients of Florence & Western. Bradley is a long time RMF volunteer and has assisted with several events including the LA Marathon RMF cheering station and the renovations at Nuestra Clinica and Florence & Western Medical Clinic. His service and commitment to Real Medicine Foundation is but just one more reason why our network of friends helping  friends  is paramount, with out Bradley an our other supporters our work would not be possible.

photo: RMF Volunteer Bradley Ritchie with truck full of food

Whole Food’s Market Venice provides several local charities donated food items 5 days a week.  Whole Food’s employees Juan and Morris load up shopping carts with items close to expiration for charities to pick up and load into their vehicles. The food is then delivered to Florence & Western Medical clinic, approx 13 miles away where FWMC volunteer Jae Lee and employee Roselia Renderos sort and bag up the food to be dispensed to the approximately 16 individuals who have signed up and waited in line to receive the food.

Andrew Shears, age 52 is one of the regular recipients of Real Medicine’s food program He was employed as a limousine driver until laid off 6 months ago, and is currently relying on general assistance and a family member’s home for support during these tough economic times. His smile is shadowed by the absence of lower dental partial, which Andrew says greatly affects his ability to obtain work. He is smiling this particular morning though, as he shares his story with me and expresses his gratitude for Real Medicine’s community outreach food program.

photo: Andrew at the Florence Western Medical Clinic

To help us in continuing to provide programming and services at Florence & Western, please click the ” donate now” button below. Your support is greatly needed, and appreciated.

For more information about our Outreach program in Los Angeles, click here.

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