Topanga Cares Meal Distribution Launch

Kait LeonardBy Kait Leonard      July 24, 2020

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Topanga Cares Meal Distribution Launch
Dayna Miller, Nonie Shore, and Kristina Rocco Levy proudly display a meal provided by Rocco’s CafĂ©. Photo by Kait Leonard.
On Monday, July 13, 2020, Topanga Cares successfully launched the new meal program to help Topanga neighbors facing food insecurities. The program is sponsored by the Topanga Community Center in partnership with Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl’s office. Rocco’s Cucina, CafĂ© 27, and Waterlily CafĂ© will be providing meals. Prior to the first day, 139 people pre-registered to receive meals. Volunteers wearing face masks and shields scrambled to get the assembly line ready for the 3:30 opening on Monday, where meals of pasta and broccoli provided by Rocco’s Cucina were distributed. Beautifully prepared and packaged food waited in coolers until recipients drove through the library parking-lot-turned-meal-pickup-lane. The instructions were simple for everyone who preregistered: put car in park, pop the trunk, and keep your mask on. Those who hadn’t registered online could sign in at a front table and receive a meal as long as they lasted. Any unclaimed meals were donated to unhoused members of the community, the fire department, and the highway patrol officers who worked the event.
Meal pick-up area.
Meal service ran from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on Monday. Because the program is new, the first half hour brought only a handful of people, giving volunteers time to get the hang of things.

As cars entered the lot, they were checked for registration, volunteers at the other end of the loop transferred meals from coolers to To-Go bags. By the time each car looped around the lot, a volunteer was ready and waiting to load the goodies into the trunk. Maintaining social distance, event staff exchanged a few words of greeting and drivers expressed gratitude. Then it was on to the next car. Meals will continue to be provided in the same manner on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 3:30 to 5 p.m.

Jenna Miller waits to help bag the meals.
TO REGISTER
Online—Go toTopangacommunitycenter.org to complete the form online. You may print the form and turn in at the Waterlily CafĂ© or CafĂ© 27. 
Over the phone—Call the Topanga Community Center at (310) 455-1980 and leave a message. Tell them your name and which days you would like a meal, and if you are not picking up personally, who will be getting your meals for you. Then come on the first day of meal service to complete the rest of the information. 
In person—You do not need to pre-register, but pre-registration will guarantee your meal and/or toiletries. If you would rather register in person, simply come to the Library on the first day of meal service.
For additional information please visit Topangacommunitycenter.org.
Kait Leonard

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