Two Local Food Banks Continue to Serve … But Need Your Help

As more people struggle during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Salvation Army and Bailey Center strive to meet food insecurity.

Photos by Mary O’KEEFE
TOP LEFT: Volunteers with the Salvation Army Glendale are handing out food to those in need but are looking for help to keep their pantry shelves full.
TOP RIGHT: Ralph Soto is a member of and volunteers with the Salvation Army Glendale.
LEFT: Workers on the lawn outside the Bailey Center in Tujunga wait to bring bags of food to those in need.
ABOVE: At the Bailey Center in Tujunga, cars line up to collect bags of groceries.


The longer the safer-at-home orders remain in place due to the fight against COVID-19 the longer many may go without a paycheck, finding they need more support. Food pantries are seeing an increase in need and are struggling to continue to fill their cupboards. This is not unique to the area; this is something that is happening throughout the U.S. Locally, two food pantries that have a long history of serving the community are now asking for help.

The Bailey Center at United Methodist Church in Tujunga has been serving the community for 39 years. Pre-COVID-19 the volunteers fed about 200 to 300 people on a regular basis but times have changed and the demand has increased. They serve anyone from low income to the homeless who need their help.

“We are in desperate need of volunteers [for] our drive-through and walk-through services,” said Maureen O’Keefe, Bailey Center coordinator.

Bailey Center needs volunteers to help every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Many of the volunteers who have been regularly supporting Bailey Center are considered at high-risk due to their age. Those volunteers will continue lending a hand by filling grocery bags in the Center, but help is needed with delivery through the drive-through and walk-up services. Those who are at a lower health risk to COVID-19 are needed to help with the distribution of food.

In addition, the Bailey Center had to cancel its planned food drive in May when items are usually dropped at U.S. post offices. This cancellation due to COVID-19 will leave the Center with very few donations. Perishable items, including canned goods and items that the homeless can eat easily like cans or packets of tuna fish that do not require can openers, are needed. The Bailey Center feeds families and individuals who are homeless, near homeless, or anyone in need.

The Salvation Army Glendale has also seen a dramatic increase in need. Their volunteers are working tirelessly to fill its pantry shelves and getting bags of groceries to those who need them through its People’s Choice Marketplace.

According to Salvation Army Glendale Capt. Kelly Berggren, the need has doubled due to the pandemic.

“[In recent days] everyone who has come in have never used our [food] pantry before,” he said.

He added that most people are sharing with him that they have lost their jobs due to the shut downs of non-essential businesses.

“[Salvation Army workers] don’t know when this will end, we are going through this one day at a time, and that is what we are seeing and hearing from those [who need food assistance],” he said. “They are confused, many with a deer in the headlights look.”

The Salvation Army Glendale fills grocery bags with non-perishables, and each family receives two to three bags, depending on its size.

“We also give them fresh fruit, bread and potatoes,” said Gabriella Maldonado, Salvation Army Glendale member and the coordinator of the pantry.

Maldonado added she has not only seen an increase in need but has been surprised at how far families have traveled for help.

“There have been families [who come from] as far as Hawthorne,” she said.

In addition to the Marketplace where volunteers hand out bags of groceries, the Salvation Army Glendale also supports seniors with Meals on Wheels and offers help to the homeless community. It serves about 45 families a day and, like the Bailey Center, needs food for its pantry.

“We need things like rice and beans,” Maldonado said. “Those are the items that are going fast.”

Both the Bailey Center and the Salvation Army Glendale need non-perishable items, including food that does not require a can opener, for homeless individuals.

Bailey Center: For those in need, the drive-through food delivery is from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Bailey Center, 9901 Tujunga Canyon Blvd. in Tujunga.  Anyone who can help by either volunteering or donating can contact Maureen O’Keefe at (818) 625-7818 or email her at

Salvation Army Glendale: For those in need the Marketplace is open Monday through Friday from noon to 3 p.m. at 320 W. Windsor Road, Glendale. People can donate funds via the website or can mail a check to Glendale Salvation Army, 320 W. Windsor Road in Glendale, CA 91204.  People who would like to drop off non-perishable food can do so at 320 W. Windsor Road, Glendale Monday through Friday between noon and 3 p.m.

CVW will also accept donations of non-perishable items at the CVW office at 3800 La Crescenta Ave., Ste. 206, Glendale/La Crescenta 91214. For those who would like to donate items during CVW office hours between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., please call (818) 248 2740 when arriving and someone from the office will take the donations from your car. For those who would like to drop off before or after office hours, please leave items outside our door upstairs.