New director reaching out to HopeNet food pantries

| September 27, 2018 | 0 Comments


Levi Webb has taken over the reins at HopeNet, which supports food pantries, hot meals and more at 12 area congregations.

The Salt Lake City, Utah native started in his new post as executive director Aug. 20.

His first order of business is reinvigorating the program and reaching out to the faith- based food pantry sites one- on-one.

“Many are feeling like they’re in limbo” with all of the changeover, he explained.

Webb succeeds Ninette Ayala, who left Aug. 17, just shy of one year on the job. Previously, Douglas Ferraro retired after many years at the helm.

Webb hails from Ameri-Corps, which is a domestic type of Peace Corps, he explained. As program director, he served over 30,000 underrepresented individuals annually.

In his new post, Webb oversees an annual $212,000 budget to feed 300,000 people a year by keeping the shelves stocked at food pantries across Mid-Wilshire, Silver Lake, Hollywood and Koreatown. Wilshire Presbyterian and Wilshire Boulevard Temple are among the local providers handing out bags of food to needy people.

Some, like First Church of the Nazarene, also serve hot meals twice a week and give out sack lunches daily to homeless people and others who stop by, said Webb.

HopeNet also benefits from “Taste of Larchmont,” held the past 26 summers (and initially organized by the Larchmont Chronicle), where locals and friends sample food and drink from participating restaurants.

The charity receives only 10 to 15 percent of its fund- ing from federal grants, so the bulk of its monies come from Taste of Larchmont, with pri- vate donations paying the rest, said Webb.

Numerous supporters reported not receiving mailed Taste of Larchmont invitations this year.

Levi asks people to keep an eye out for HopeNet’s end-of-year mailing. Community donations remain vital to HopeNet’s mission. To donate, contact

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