Over 1.8 million nonprofits and charities for donors, volunteers and funders

2021 Top-Rated Nonprofit

MEND - Meet Each Need with Dignity

4,389 pageviews

Claim This Nonprofit

More Info

Add to Favorites

Share this Nonprofit

Donate

Volunteering Oportunities

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Coronavirus Relief Food Banks, Emergency Assistance, Food, Food Banks & Pantries, Human Services, Neighborhood Centers

Mission: With dignity & respect, MEND's mission is to meet the immediate needs of individuals and families and strengthen their capacity to thrive.

Results: MEND has served as a trusted anchor institution for 50 years and counting. We have adapted as the needs of our community changed. A comprehensive look at our impact over the years can be found in our impact reports on our website: https://mendpoverty.org/Financial-and-Legal-Documents

Target demographics: Low-income families and individuals, homeless, vulnerable seniors

Geographic areas served: Los Angeles/San Fernando Valley

Programs: COMMUNITY NOURISHMENT PROGRAMS (CNP): MEND’s food pantry has long been a point of entry for a majority of clients. Those utilizing the food bank often include families with children struggling to make ends meet, low-income seniors and people who are homeless who—because of few options—sometimes rely on foraging to survive. As MEND’s 2019 Humanitarian Award honoree, Dr. LaVonna Blair Lewis put it, “Food is not discretionary.” Equitable access to nutritious food supports a healthy life, and a healthy life supports better overall outcomes.” In addition to weekly onsite food distributions, MEND offers a free farmer’s market choice-based fruit and vegetable distribution model, Buen Provecho, monthly. Our Little Health Market offers access to healthy, organic, shelf-stable and frozen foods, including low carb options, whole grain foods, salmon, olive oil, and much more. All at no cost. In addition to direct services at MEND’s facility in Pacoima, MEND’s Community Nourishment Programs distribute food to dozens of community- and faith-based organizations who operate food pantries that touch the lives of thousands of people throughout LA County. In 2020, the Foodbank benefited individuals and families through 126,584 encounters. By distributing more than 2.5 million pounds of food, the Foodbank empowered families throughout LA County to consume 2,142,140 healthy meals in 2020. FAMILY SUPPORT PROGRAM (FSP): In the Fall of 2018, MEND started its first intensive case managed services. Our hypothesis was that with intensive 1:1 social work support, guidance and resource connections, families in poverty could reduce their dependence on MEND’s and other safety net services and gain greater stability and independence. The overarching goal of FSP is to build family self-sufficiency and disrupt cycles of generational poverty. PATHWAYS TO WELLNESS: This program incorporates a collaboration with the Community Nourishment and Family Support Programs. It offers opportunities for group interventions (such as exercise classes, nutrition education, and cooking demonstrations, as well as 1:1 supprt utilizing a case managed approach. PtW it helps individuals who are struggling with chronic health conditions learn and incorporate behaviors that help them achieve better food security, and empowers them to develop lasting healthy lifestyle habits, sustained health, resilience and wellbeing. Those who are enrolled also have access to the Little Health Market. HOMELESS CARE SERVICES: Every year, we support an average of 2,000 unduplicated homeless men and women, serving them a hot meal and providing them with food-to-go, fresh change of clothing, hygiene items and referrals to partners in housing and mental health. Every holiday season, we treat our homeless clients to a festive Christmas brunch called "A Seat at the Table" where they enjoy a holiday meal, sing-along, games and presents. HOPE & CARE: As COVID-19 cases began to spread in late 2020 among the most vulnerable people in San Fernando Valley neighborhoods, MEND sent out its Hope & Care team to offer support, information and referrals on COVID-19 testing, prevention, symptoms, and resources, masks, PPE and vaccines. The team is made up of individuals from the community who are familiar with the neighborhoods that we serve, as well as the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the poorest communities. Our team builds trust with people by meeting them where they are, be it at home or work. The Hope & Care program also helps mitigate and address other COVID impacts including food-insecurity and mental and physical health needs, by offering information on local resources and delivering food, PPE and cleaning supplies to families and individuals in quarantine or sick as a result of COVID-19. Through this program we are able to provide “concrete supports” such as diapers and wipes, clothing, household items, educational supplies, appliances, rent/utility assistance and more.

Community Stories

47 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Maria Paula B.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer and a board member for over 3 years and I have witnessed the programs and services MEND offers to the most vulnerable in our community. The impact goes beyond statistics and numbers on reports. MEND has touched and changed human lives for more than 50 years. I have met professionals in my network that when they were younger their parents were struggling and MEND was there to help them!

Donor

Rating: 5

I'm a donor! I know some of the volunteers and know this is a passion and great cause.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I’ve seen the impact MEND has on communities and lives. It’s become a part of my family’s annual giving plan because we believe in the mission and the people who are bringing it to life. The pandemic has presented challenges for so many but MEND found ways to adapt and continue its essential work.

1 Bob R.5

Donor

Rating: 5

MEND daily changes the lives of those most in need supplying food for the hungry, clothes when needed and assistance in getting out of poverty. I’m honored to be a donor and board member.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a community member in the San Fernando Valley and very aware of the excellent work performed by MEND. I am a board member and past Chair of a regional nonprofit whose mission is providing permanent supportive housing for persons that are formerly homeless and have been impacted by mental illness. (Our agency has completed 52 apartment projects throughout Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego Counties that provide permanent housing to 2,900 individuals and families that reside in the more than 2000 units in our buildings.)

Based on my experience as an activist in the effort to address the issue of poverty and homelessness in our community, I have come to know MEND as a leader and key partner in the effort to provide critical services to persons that are part of the growing population of under served individuals in our community.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Why do I support MEND (Meet Each Need with Dignity)? Their name says it all. Every person they work with is treated with dignity and their needs are addressed. They began as a grass-roots effort to support those in their community who were facing adversity. This effort has grown and continues to serve the community and provide resources that allow their clients to grow, thrive, and—in turn—continue to give back. I first learned of MEND through service-learning courses at the University where I worked. Students who had the opportunity to serve at MEND described the experience as “transformative.” This is exactly what we hope a service-learning class will provide to students, allowing them to understand their place in the social network of community. I’m proud to contribute to their work.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at MEND during many occasions and each time I am reminded of why I keep coming back. I truly enjoy working alongside the employees and other volunteers. I can see the difference they make in the community and how special everyone is treated. Whenever I get a chance I let others know to volunteer at MEND whenever they can because it is such a great organization. Everyone is treated with respect and kindness. The work they do to help others is so important.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a MEND volunteer since 2013, during this time I have witness how everyone is welcome with a smile and a warm greeting. For MEND employees and volunteers the most important thing is to serve each client with respect and dignity.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

If you want/need experience there is no better organization than M.E.N.D. to give your time to. Lupe Martin is your point of contact and the sole reason many of us continue to return. She is amazing and it is because of her that MEND rises above and beyond.

1 Vmlee

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve been volunteering at this amazing facility on and off for a while. I found this organization very organized and very helpful for those in need of food and clothing. Even during the pandemic, it amazes me how organized and dedicated their staff is.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I started volunteering for MEND 11 years ago and watched and participated how MEND has helped the community around them .
At the start of the pandemic MEND and as before, MEND was there to serve the community with drive up food service for anyone who needed boxes of food and fresh fruit and vegetables. Same for the homeless who walked up to pick up food.
This is definitely a 5 star non profit! Art Salter

Comments ( 1 )

profile

JanetMEND 09/08/2021

Thank you, Art. Your presence is a ray of hope to people who struggle.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I’ve lived in the San Fernando Valley for most of my life – just a few miles down the road from MEND. In the many years I’ve worked here, I’ve come to love the work we do and the care and support it provides to people who are in crisis. Along with the help of dedicated and generous donors, volunteers, supporters, and staff, MEND has been able modify services as needed to ease the current struggles of individuals and families in our community.

Comments ( 1 )

profile

JanetMEND 09/08/2021

Yes, indeed. It takes a village.

2 Teresa L.4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started at MEND after the pandemic hit and I can not stress enough how fulfilling and satisfying it is to work helping others and making a difference in my own community. I was fortunate to receive some of the benefits at the food distribution while struggling financially during the first quarantine closures, and that's how I started getting involved. After I saw their social media accounts, and that they were recruiting more volunteers, I didn't think twice and sent in my resume. It has been an amazing experience working with tons of positive, resourceful and kind people that treat everyone with respect and compassion. My specific job is under a temporary grant that targets neighborhoods with low vaccination rates. We spread the word about our partner clinics and events to encourage others to come and get their vaccine.

Comments ( 1 )

profile

JanetMEND 09/08/2021

We are so appreciative of your support and commitment. Thank you for making a difference.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a supporter of MEND, I trust that my donations will be used to support people in need. They have been around for 50 years and have much community respect. They have strong and committed leadership, Board and staff.

1 Jeannet T.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love MEND! It has not only given me the opportunity to help others, but also be able to grow professionally by gaining new skills. I have been able to experience to work in various departments within the organization for the past 8 years. From the education center to the medical clinic. I have been given the opportunity to teach, organize, plan and lead, which are crucial skills needed for my future career. I want to become a physician and MEND has equipped me with the skills I need to excel in that field.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Have been volunteering for the past year and I love everything about MEND. It's a great place that helps anybody that needs the help. They help families with food, clothes, medical services and job training.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great organization! I have been volunteering with for 3 or so years.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 2

Mend pretends to be a charity organization. However the Hispanic staff is racist. Only Hispanics can receive the best service. Those of us non-Hispanics are discriminated against.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being involved -- I can tell you they do a fantastic job of caring for the underserved .
Whether it be the food service [eat in &/or groceries for home], clothing, showers for the homeless or the whole range of Medical, Vision & Dental services.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I work both in The Medical Clinic and the Food Bank. They do an outstanding job of providing a full range of services for the needy. Medical, Dental and Vision Care, + Food Bank + Soup Kitchen as well as a Clothing Store, showers for the Homeless plus a small grocery type store with donated items. Art

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I look at MEND, I see something beautiful and breathtaking happening simultaneously. I see an organization that is built to truly Meet Each Need with Dignity. A tremendous amount of love and forethought has gone into how MEND has has been envisioned, established, and enRiched. MEND reaches a vast amount of families in need right here in the heart of the valley, and greatly enriches their lives, in an incredible facility, and with an inspired and talented team of leaders, experts, and volunteers. Most of all, MEND creates dynamic and profound good, in such a comprehensive and altruistic way.

I've had the privilege and honor of working with MEND as both a volunteer, as well as professionally in the field of non-profit community work. I've observed some amazing accomplishments, and seen first hand, what a beautifully run non-profit this is for myself. The volunteers, staff, board, and leaders, seem to have a great dynamic, because the events are fun and festive, the vibe is always inclusive, and the results are absolutely astonishing.

MEND also really knows how to create great results, when you provide them with resources. They are great at taking on donations and opportunities, and saving massive amounts of valuable resources and food, from spoiling or otherwise being wasted. One of the best food pantries there is, anywhere, check it out for yourself. MEND can handle donations with expert precision, and utilizes a very highly developed network here in Los Angeles, to insure the maximum impact of every donated dollar, resource, and hour. MEND is more efficient than any business can be, because it matters to MEND, and it shows in how they serve.

As a volunteer, I worked on several different events, and on each occasion the MEND volunteers were all really fun, honest, good, loving people, making a difference together and feeling good while doing it. A lot of creativity in the fund raisers MEND puts together, never a dull moment, with such joy in the way this organization expresses: Giving.

MEND has an amazing kitchen onsite, at it's heart, and that gives it this true foodie element, as well as a lot of character and joy. People love to come together and cook up something beautiful for the community. The food that is prepared there is excellent!

MEND your world, it deserves you.

1 Penny S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Meet Each Need with Dignity has been there to support the Skidrow Ministry (through Christian Assembly) for many years now. MEND'S resources has contributed to the improvement of the lives of those we minister. I was part of the Ministry the first few years when I learned about the power of food. Every week, I witnessed the smiles of people whose hearts began to burn for the Lord and who began to have hope in their lives because they knew complete strangers wanted to provide for them. I had the opportunity to develop a deeper intimacy with people by simply sharing food with them. MEND's contribution goes beyond simply food. Their commitment leads to transformed lives. And, so, MEND deserves to be THE BEST nonprofit out there!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After several times volunteering, I am still blown away at the amount of food this place receives and gets right back out to the local community. The work that is done under that roof is the lords work.God bless to all the work and help with MEND.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

MEND provides vital services the the communities they serve and that community is large and wide-spread. I have volunteered there for the annual post office food drive and found MEND to be very professional, organized and well equipped to take in and distribute large quantities of food. The facility is modern, clean and a delight to be in. The people who work there are professional and kind. You shoudl check them out.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For 21/2 years I have been involved in serving the homeless on Skid row in Los Angeles and we have earned the equivalent of a "5 star Michelin" rating for the hot meals because of the quality of food that MEND has provided to us week after week.That you MEND from all of us at Christian Assembly Church in Eagle Rock!!!!
Bill Myers

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

For 8 years, Christian Assembly Church has been the recipient of food donations from MEND every single week. With just very few exceptions, MEND has never missed giving us what we need for our homeless ministry. Because of MEND, we have been able to serve hundreds of homeless people every week by providing them with hot meals and also sandwich/fruit bags. We also have the reputation of having the "best food on Skid Row." And it's all because of how MEND has partnered with us all these years in serving the poorest of the poor here in L.A. and giving them the most basic of their needs: food! They are consistent, faithful, helpful and such are a joy to work with! I cannot say enough about this nonprofit organization and they definitely deserve to get recognized!

1 Karen112

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started picking up food from MEND with my friend Diana and I was overwhelmed by the kindness and caring these wonderful people showed us as we picked up food for our Skid Row Ministry. I observed each and every person working like mad to fill the requests of organizations ready to feed the needy and hungry people they serve. The people there were so pleasant and helpful to us. As Diana and I drove away after filling our truck for the food prep the next day, I cried with joy and admiration that such an amazing organization such as MEND existed. I am so very impressed and after I heal, I will be back. God bless MEND!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

MEND is an answer to prayer. Through them, we at Christian Assembly in Eagle Rock feed really delicious food to oveer 200 people every Sunday. We even walk the streets to reach out to those who can't stand in our food line. I have made some very good friends who are trying to live in dignity while living on the streets. They have changed my life. I hope in some small way I can help change theirs.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am part of Christian Assembly's outreach to both Skid Row and Day Laborers. Mend was an answer to prayer for us and has enabled us to have food which we prepare and then give to between 200-350 each week. We thank God for Mend and the opportunity they have provided to extend a helping hand to the poor and needy!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Each week MEND donates food to our Skid Row ministry and we are able to prepare a hot meal for an average of 250 homeless and extremely poor men and women living on Skid Row. Our relationship with MEND began more than three years ago and we have received food donations each week since that time. Our meals are known on Skid Row as the best available. Our ministry began eight years ago but since receiving from MEND, we have expanded to reach many more of our friends who come each week to our tables where they are offered a hot meal and lots of love. Thank you to Richard Weinroth and all the people who are so generous at MEND! Peggy Heim, Leader of Christian Assembly's Skid Row Ministry, Eagle Rock, CA

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first volunteered for MEND back in high school by wrapping gifts during the holidays. After high school I moved out of state for several years, but when I moved back home to California a couple years ago, I returned to MEND to volunteer. MEND truly makes such a positive difference in the community and the other volunteers and staff are a pleasure to work with. It is wonderful to see so many people work so selflessly to make a difference in the lives of others.

1 Dorothy H.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been donating to MEND for years and volunteering as a fundraising proposal writer for about one year. MEND is the largest multiservice, poverty relief organization in the San Fernando Valley, and their work to help those in need is of tremendous benefit to the community. MEND doesn't accept any regular government funds and thus depends on business and foundation grants and personal donations to continue their work. In addition to monetary donations MEND accepts in-kind donations of clothing, food and household goods for distribution through their Food Center and Clothing Center. With coordination MEND can also accept more specialized in-kind corporate donations for their Health Center. Helping MEND helps many.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My wife and I have volunteered for years, and we can honestly say that this is one of the best charity institutions in California. The staff & volunteers work hard and are eager to serve, and they do it for love of their fellow man.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My Name is Tom T. and I have had the pleasure of volunteering at MEND. When I first got there, I thought I was going to see just a regular food distribution center. What I found was the most amazing collaboration of Volunteers I have ever witnessed. They don't just distribute hundreds of thousands of pounds of food each month, they also have an amazing volunteer Chefs, Dentists, Doctors, showers, full clothing store (free mind you if you can't afford to pay) and they also have vocational assistnce as well as Counselors just to name a few of the services. Everything someone down on their luck needs to get back on track. I wish them all the best and I pray for them to receive enough donations and volunteers to keep operating.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer at MEND since 2004. The outreach and good MEND provides to the community is unbelievable.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer in the emergency food dept for 15 years, 10 years as a driver picking up donated food at the markets and the last 5 years maintaining a computer database to track incoming and outgoing food. To me it appears MEND grows each year and each of those year the services expand, and with that the staff becomes more knowledgeable and concerned, the operation grows in efficiency and the volunteers become more involved. I am continually amazed at the enthusiasm and caring of the staff and the dedication of the volunteers as the entire MEND operation looks after the needs of the clients.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer fund raiser at MEND and I write Grant Proposals to help fund the vast array of programs MEND offers to the impoverished and under-served members of the communities we serve. Since MEND does not request, nor receive any Government assistance, the use of dedicated and qualified volunteers helps maintain administrative costs below 6%. Among the many programs available are our Medical and Dental Clinics which are staffed primarily by volunteer Licensed Medical, Dental and Pharmaceutical Professionals who provide services at no cost to the patient. Volunteers have been a critical part of every aspect of MEND since its grass roots beginning in a garage more than 40 years ago. Today MEND has become the largest nonprofit in the San Fernando Valley and a beacon for desperate families and individuals in need of assistance.

2 Carolyn28

Volunteer

Rating: 5

MEND started in 1971 in my garage! Over the 4o+ years of involvement, I have met so many wonderful and dedicated volunteers! Also, the clients we serve with dignity are wonderful and deserve all the services we offer. They are helped to give them some skills what can hopefully help them out of the poverty cycle. I cannot think of a more deserving non-profit to win! The staff at MEND is energetic, innovative and strives to give the best service we can to our thousands of clients. We treat all with the respect and dignity that we would like to be treated with. The community at large is so supportive! Through the years our base of support has grown immensely! I have personally seen the good that MEND can do for our clients. One of my volunteer activities is in the medical clinic. The doc and I used to work at Kaiser and now devote 2 mornings a month to give women the care they need. The patients are always saying how grateful they are for the way they are treated at MEND. What better testimony can we give?

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I work in the Welfare system as a GAIN worker and am able to refer moms and dads to MEND for community service, food, eye , and dental care, GED classes and much more. MEND is a community within the community and is all privately funded with great partners like Coppola, Disney, churches, Universal and more.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I began volunteering at MEND last year. They have so many services for those in need including a food bank, medical clinic, and clothing store. The management is great, and the staff are really helpful and friendly. They really do try to help as many families and individuals as possible, and if they can't help, they point people to the right resources or right people. They have great connections to the community and their Guidestar profile is very complete. I highly recommend them for volunteer opportunities or services.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with M.E.N.D. for over five years now. All I can really say is WOW WOW WOW! This group of people and the work they do is amazing. They work very hard with very littel and get amazing results. You can trust them to manage your shared resources with and unmatched result. The more time you spend with M.E.N.D. the more you will see the blessing they will be to you and the community they serve.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I love this organization. They helped my mother and I through our toughest times. I always loved coming here when I was 6 years old because of the kind donations always given to us in our time of need. I hope to return the favor someday. Until then I hope that this great organization continues to thrive and help others as it helped my mother and I.

Review from Guidestar

lizadooolittle

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a volunteer at MEND for more than 10 years. What's great about MEND volunteers is we come from all walks of life. Everyone has a talent that they can contribute to this 40-year old organization that was built by volunteers! If you're looking for volunteer opportunities in the San Fernando Valley, I would call MEND. They can use the help of students, families, retirees and even working professionals who can offer their expertise in graphic design, marketing, fund raising, writing and more. If you have any doubts, I HIGHLY recommend taking a tour of the building to see MEND good work in action.

Review from CharityNavigator

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For years I drove past MEND on my way to and from my daily activities without giving a thought to what it was about. One day I was counting my blessings and thinking I should be doing more to help others in my community. I contacted the volunteer coordinator and signed up to volunteer. I was so impressed with everything about them. Their kindness, their compassion, their professionalism, their organization, their facility. What a magnificent task before them and what miracles they perform everyday! I am blessed to be part of what they are doing to help the ever growing need in our community.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

How can I say this...M.E.N.D is a meritorious charity group that contributes to the community around it. It has an amazing staff, and even more amazing is the amount of volunteers that spend thier time here at MEND. My time here at MEND has in my opinion "shaped me" into someone who not only appreciates the things he has, but into some one who will take time to help others, because during my time here at MEND, everyone is helping others, and it just kindof rubs off in you. Truely is an amazing feat., and not many groups can pull it off as well as this one.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had a great time volunteering at MEND, its really rewarding to feed hungry families. The MEND facility is really nice looking. The building is huge and they have a bunch of different volunteer opportunities.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For the last 39 years MEND has consistently served the poor of the northeast San Fernando Valley. Their social service programs cover a wide range of needs and offer job training as well. It is frugally run with only 6% of its budget used for administration and fund raising. It is an outstanding organization which treats the poverty stricken with respect and dignity.

Review from Guidestar