2020 Fennie Community Fund
Legal-name: Long Beach Community Table
Address: 3166 Ostrom Ave
City: Long Beach
Officer-title: Executive Director
Long Beach Community Table is a mutual-aid 501c3 nonprofit cooperative focused on growing sustainable community with dignity and compassion in the greater Long Beach area. We empower self-determination by bringing fresh produce, healthy groceries, basic hygiene essentials, and supportive resources directly to food deserts, school campuses, low- income neighborhoods, senior housing, veterans centers, and homebound residents. When people can get their minds off food insecurity and more onto other issues, they are able to make greater contributions to the needs of their families and neighborhoods.
Budget: Expenses $146,550.00 Revenues $1,974,051.00
ContactTitle: Executive Director
Primary-phone: 562 548 0774
Secondary-phone: 562 673 1798
Grant-purpose: Long Beach Community Table is reaching out to all communities in the greater Long Beach area and especially to the most vulnerable, including children and families who are housing insecure, and seniors with health issue, to improve their prospects for a better future.
What-is-project: LBCT is already feeding children and their families here in Long Beach, at our warehouse, at parks in low income areas, by delivery to individuals, families and seniors who are physically incapable of obtaining food for themselves, crop swaps, helping build and maintain gardens in backyards, and we plan to be providing classes in person and via video on topics like parenting, financial literacy and planning basics, gardening, nutrition, sewing, mechanical repairs, food preservation, permaculture, legal advising, in the very near future. We are currently working to expand to Avalon (because the majority of their year round residents are low income and connected to the devastated tourism industry there) in partnership with Primal Alchemy, a local Food-to-table caterer, which is holding non perishable food and hygiene drives amongst the boating community and others who have the means, which we will supplement with our own donations. We will pick up from the drives, store the food at our warehouse until we transport it to boats which will take it to the island for distribution there. We will also provide seedlings, children’s books, etc., to encourage sustainability and reading. The people who receive food there will also be emailed the educational videos mentioned above.
How-will-you-succeed: Our goal is to eventually get people off of part of the program by growing food of their own, repairing their own mechanical items, sewing, eating healthier food, creating sustainability and a community that supports each other by holding their own crop swaps, garden builds, tiny libraries, etc. The ongoing part will be the classes in parenting, financial literacy, sewing, repairs, etc.. In the meantime, we will know if we are succeeding by keeping track of the number of people served food, gardens being built, food being grown, video classes being watched, and live classes attended, etc. We have email addresses and master gardeners for all participants who have questions or need help so that they can continue to learn more about the topics we are presenting. As more and more people become self sustaining they can also teach others. We would like to send out surveys to participants to see if they feel that the classes are helpful and their situations are improving, especially in the face of the coronavirus and economic downturn.
Who-are-you: Members/volunteers of Long Beach Community Table have been actively involved in serving creating sustainability/community with dignity for years unofficially and officially since May 2018. The board members are well-connected to the city and have been involved in food activism in various ways, most for decades.
Prior to officially starting LBCT, the executive director worked in drug and alcohol rehab and dual diagnosis facilities with mothers and their children, teaching classes on appropriate parenting and life skills and also providing therapy, later she worked as a foster care case worker with children who had been taken from their parents for neglect, abuse, substance abuse and the like.
Eventually, Ms Cox got involved in politics and fought for betterment of the lives of low income individuals, food and housing insecure populations, those in need of medical and mental health provisions, environmental issues and their disproportionate impact on low income diverse demographics.
Feeling there was a better way to connect directly to the issues and the people, she started putting together the groundwork for LBCT with a mission of “raising all ships” in the local area through mutual aid, by sourcing and distributing nutritious food, building gardens for sustainability and educating people on how to maintain healthier and more financially and emotionally secure lives.
Our mission is to be the platform of a collaborative, mutual aid where everyone gives, receives, and takes care of each other to first meet basic needs and then to collectively create greater self sufficiency for individuals, families and the community.
In the attached board of directors file you can see that these are people of character who understand the problem and have contributed many hours of time either gardening, or distributing food. Everyone involved in LBCT understand that it is a cooperative so when they need food they can take it and when their situation improves most choose to give back financially through fundraisers, or individual donations. The board members do so on a regular basis. Only two members of the board are being paid at all, for coordinating homebound and for work on grants. The executive director is not accepting payment currently and has not to date because we would all prefer that the money go toward the resources needed by our recipients.
We partner with many organizations including Food Finders, Food Forward, Long Beach Fresh, Southern California Food Bank, The Fruit Guys, Long Beach Collective Association who helped provide our warehouse, Farmers Markets throughout southern California, The Growing Experience, HEALB, and a long list of others.
Our main projects at this time are park distribution, gardening, homebound deliveries, the beginning phases of the Catalina Food Ferry with Primal Alchemy, a new expansion to housing projects on the Northwest side of Long Beach and additional senior centers.