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Media Contact:
Alex Medina
Director of Communications
213.201.1521
amedina@apla.org
November 11, 2017

APLA Health and AIDS Food Store Partner Together to Serve Long Beach Communities

Program provides food security and nutrition information for those living with HIV

Long Beach—APLA Health’s Vance North Necessities of Life Program (NOLP) and the AIDS Food Store of Long Beach have now combined services to help meet the needs of those living with HIV in the Long Beach area. This partnership will now create the third largest NOLP site in Los Angeles County, serving more than 279 people and distributing more than 1,750 bags of groceries a month.

In 2015, the City of Long Beach reported that more than 4,700 Long Beach residents were diagnosed and living with HIV and saw a new infection rate higher than Los Angeles County (28 per 100,000 population vs 20 per 100,000). APLA Health’s NOLP site formed a local partnership with AIDS Food Store to create a robust location that could serve the needs of the Long Beach community. According to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Service Planning Area 8, which includes Long Beach, has the second highest prevalence of people living with HIV. The food pantry serves individuals living with HIV whose income is at or below 168% of the federal poverty level—roughly $1,688 a month.

“The partnership with APLA Health is a perfect fit for Long Beach because together we are able address the need of hunger in our community with respect and dignity,” said John Newell, President of AIDS Food Store. “We are able to make our food delivery and support services more effective for those seeking assistance. Working together allows both organizations to successfully achieve quality outcomes for our neighbors.”

“Food insecurity and HIV are intertwined. Food pantries such as these are important magnets that ensure people stay connected to services and stay healthy. People don’t have to choose between food and postponing care,” said Craig E. Thompson, chief executive officer of APLA Health. “Our next step with this partnership is to expand and grow the program to serve more of those individuals in need around Long Beach.”

Clients at NOLP and the AIDS Food Store food pantries receive pre-bagged groceries that include fresh dairy, frozen meats, fresh produce, and an assortment of canned and dry goods, as well as hygiene items and cleaning supplies. Clients are also able to receive one-on-one nutritional counseling and attend nutrition classes.

AIDS Food Store Long Beach was founded in November 1985 and for three decades has distributed many tons of food to thousands of clients. AIDS Food Store remains true to its mission “to address hunger in the community with respect and dignity” with a commitment that no one in the Long Beach area living with HIV/AIDS disabilities would ever be without food, love and support. Clients are men, women and children whose lives have been impacted by HIV/AIDS disabilities. For more information, please visit us at aidsfoodstore.org.

APLA Health has a mission is to achieve health care equity and promote well-being for the LGBT and other underserved communities and people living with and affected by HIV. We are a nonprofit, federally qualified health center serving more than 14,000 people annually. We provide 20 different services from 14 locations throughout Los Angeles County, including: medical, dental, and behavioral health care; PrEP counseling and management; health education and HIV prevention; and STD screening and treatment. For people living with HIV, we offer housing support; benefits counseling; home health care; and the Vance North Necessities of Life Program food pantries; among several other critically needed services. Additionally, we are leaders in advocating for policy and legislation that positively impacts the LGBT and HIV communities, provide capacity-building assistance to health departments across the country, and conduct community-based research on issues affecting the communities we serve. For more information, please visit us at aplahealth.org.