LOS ANGELES - In a partnership with the City of Los Angeles, FOX is feeding thousands of people with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s a loving time,” said Access driver Dereith Polidore. “It’s time to give back and that’s exactly what we’re doing. We’re giving back.”
Polidore and dozens of other drivers with the county-wide transportation service pack lunches in their vehicles to bring to people with disabilities and HIV.
“When COVID-19 hit, people with disabilities were probably among the most vulnerable but they hadn’t really received additional services,” said City of L.A. Department on Disability Executive Director Stephen David Simon, alongside his interpreter, Richard Pope.
FOX reached out to L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and decided to form a partnership with the city’s Department on Disability. FOX is donating its time and resources to feed 2,000 people, five days a week, over the next month.
The FOX culinary team, some who have been struggling for work during the pandemic, make the meals in the historic FOX dining room each day, starting at 5 a.m.
“There are so many people out of work right now," said Michael Ruge, while cutting turkey sandwiches in the kitchen for those in need. “This is just a blessing. It really is.”
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More than 30 FOX service team members fill the 2,000 bags with the meal of the day – much of the food sourced from a variety of local vendors – safely seal them and load the lunches into a truck. They drive from the FOX Studio Lot, just down the road to the Palms-Rancho Park Branch Library for distribution.
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The team then unloads the lunches for the Access transport drivers to deliver to the L.A. families in need.
“I am so proud of our facilities team, our drivers, the people who are receiving these and how we’re assisting them through just a really, really difficult times in our lives,” said FOX Senior Vice-President of Special Events Paul Werner.
“Not only are we able to get a bunch of people back to work, it shows a commitment from the company to us,” said FOX Executive Chef Kyle Nelson. “At the same time, we’re doing something positive for the community, so it’s a two-fold, win-win.”
“I had an elderly woman who was almost in tears just to receive these few little meals,” said Polidore. “And I’m heading back to that same address today.”