David May: Los Angeles Regional Food Bank – Ep. 18

David May is the Director of Marketing for the Los Angeles Regional food bank, one of the most impressive food bank operations in the world. Sadly, each month, his organization needs to feed 900,000+ people.

In this episode, he shares deeply troubling statistics about the food insecurity epidemic not just in LA, but around the US and world.

The silver lining? He has found personal joy and career satisfaction through working for and supporting a truly noble cause. I know you will love this episode!

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Ep. 18 – David May Show Highlights:

1:47 – “We’re one of those weird organizations that would love to put ourselves out of business. But unfortunately, the need… all over, but especially here in L.A. County has really skyrocketed ami

d the pandemic. Even before the outbreak, we estimated about one in five people in L.A. County was struggling with food insecurity.”

3:49 – “So when we talk about success for the food bank, what that means – amid the pandemic – before we were reaching about 300,000 people every month. And now after the outbreak, we’re reaching about 900,000 people every month.”

7:41 – “But L.A. County’s just so expensive and people struggle to make ends meet even with one or two or three or four jobs in the family. And so a lot of our food is actually going to people to help them pay these other bills like rent and utilities and medical expenses and car issues.”

11:27 – “On the other end of the spectrum, there’s there’s food waste. And especially now that we’re seeing schools, conventions, restaurants – the food supply has been disrupted as well. So we’ve got all this excess food over here and we’ve got all these food insecure people over here. And if we don’t get this food to these folks, it’s just going to rot anyway.” 

13:35 – “So he just, with his pick up truck in his garage, essentially started the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. Of course, it grew from there. And part of the reason we like to tell that story, is because it’s proof that one person can make a difference.”

19:40 – “Marketing has enough of a bad rap. Sometimes it’s like, ‘oh, you hear the people that trick people into buying things’ and stuff like that. And so I didn’t want to work in a place that was just filling up a landfill with whatever item. I wanted to use, the marketing skills and experience for something good.”

25:25 – “Roughly 50 percent of the people in L.A. County have been financially impacted by the virus. So we’re kind of in the middle of an emergency. If people are going to line up and spend an hour waiting in line [in] a car for food, then they need food.”

35:27 – “We purposely don’t have as many volunteers on site as much as we used to be able to create more space between people. But that is for people who are looking for a way to get involved and they don’t have the financial resources to to make a donation. Volunteering is a great way if you feel safe and healthy about it, especially after you get the vaccine.”

43:14 – “How many times have we heard Americans live paycheck to paycheck? And it’s rare to find people with a lot of savings. If you’re out of work for a month or two or three, heaven forbid, 10, 11, 12 months – it can happen to a much bigger percentage of the population than people are admitting.”

48:31 – “The vast majority of our food is donated. The vast majority of our funds coming in are from these private donations.”

48:31 – “We see people from all over rallying around this. We can disagree on this, we can disagree on that, but we agree that we need to get people food who need it.”

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