Every Wednesday, pastor Ruth Crosthwaith hosts a food distribution at Ministerio Misionero Internacional, her church located in the Wrigley neighborhood near Pacific Avenue and Hill Street.
Crosthwaith has been organizing food giveaways for the past 12 years with help from volunteers at her local mission. She was motivated to help provide food for others after experiencing her own struggles as a single mother of three, working four different jobs when she immigrated to the U.S. from her home country of Honduras 17 years ago.
The food distributions are every Wednesday at 11 a.m. in front of her church located at 2167 Pacific Ave. Crosthwaith also sets aside food to take to North Long Beach where she does another food giveaway at 5 p.m. in front of the Shady Acres trailer homes lot located at Long Beach Boulevard. and 55th Street.
“A lot of us have been struggling to find help because we don’t speak English,” Crosthwaith said, “I don’t know how to use a computer, but we have the same rights to receive food and other assistance.”
A line of around 40 people formed along Pacific Avenue. Volunteers from the church set up tables and groceries outside where they were preparing boxes and crates full of fresh items.
Recipients get a box with produce including vegetables, fruits, milk, yogurt, bread and packages of snacks. Anyone can attend the distribution, no matter what religious affiliation.
Ana Robles from Bellflower, found out about the food distribution through her friend who also attends.
“They help out people so much,” said Robles in an interview with the Signal Tribune in Spanish. “Especially with the current economy, with people being unemployed, that’s why I had to come,” she continued.
Robles was laid off from her own job, and her husband is retired, but they still have a family of four to provide for.
When asked if there were any food distributions in Bellflower, where she resides, Robles said she wasn’t aware of any herself.
An advantage of this distribution is that it’s walk-up, it doesn’t require recipients to arrive in a vehicle in order to be able to receive the groceries.
Crosthwaith says the demand has certainly been higher in recent months with the COVID-19 pandemic still in effect.
Along with help from her volunteers, Crosthwaith purchases the produce from markets with money her ministry obtains from donations. She has also coordinated with another church who had stopped doing distributions, to receive groceries that they have received from Target, Walmart and Costco.
Donations are being accepted at her church located at 2167 Pacific Ave.
“As long as we’re alive and we have our health, we won’t get tired,” said Crosthwaith.