Inglewood residents help each other get through economic crisis

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City of Inglewood council members sitting at the dais at a virtual meeting. Photo is a screenshot of the city’s livestream.

Brandon Rodriguez, Community News Reporter

As the pandemic continues putting a strain on families in Inglewood, community members and leaders have been working to help their neighbors and each other.

Business closures or reductions in hours have left many city residents without jobs or with fewer hours and pay, making it difficult for them to support their families and buy the food or school supplies needed. 

That’s why Inglewood residents Tomas Moreno and Teresa Ortiz started a back-to-school drive in August to provide food and school supplies for anyone who needed them. They did this by putting backpacks full of school supplies in various Inglewood locations.

“The city of Inglewood means everything to me,” Moreno said in a phone interview. “From the pits of my soul, there’s a deep root of pride I have in my city and ’hood cause I embrace everything good and bad about it.”

Ortiz said they got more donations and school supplies than they expected, so they were able to give supplies to anyone who came by, not just city residents.

“I think since it was rushed we did not have enough time to spread the word, so we only gave out 180 out of 300 and the rest — we donated them to small charities in Inglewood,” she said.

Moreno said he and Ortiz want to continue the work they did.

“Teresa and I plan on starting an organization or foundation to continue to help kids in need and people in need from low-income communities. We plan to hopefully get ‘Toys for Tots’ up and running for the foster kids of Inglewood,” he said.

A couple of food giveaways for families in need were organized last month by Inglewood city council member Alex Padilla, Inglewood council member George Dotson and Los Angeles city council member Herb Wesson.

Council member Dotson spoke about it briefly in a city council meeting in late September: “This past Thursday, L.A. Councilman Herb Wesson and I sponsored a food giveaway, COVID testing, and the Southern Christian Leadership council was also there for the census. There were…150 boxes or bags of food given out to families. Eighty-one people were tested for COVID and they should receive their test results in 48 hours.”

Community News reporters are enrolled in JOUR 3910 – University Times. They produce stories about under-covered neighborhoods and small cities on the Eastside and South Los Angeles. Please email feedback, corrections and story tips to [email protected]