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Laguna Beach

 Volume 12, Issue 44  |  June 2, 2020

South Laguna Food Drive benefits Laguna Food Pantry and No Empty Bowls on Saturday, May 30


SoLag residents Rhonda O’Connor and Cindy Love are spearheading a food drive for Laguna Food Pantry – and lest our four-legged friends be forgotten, also for Orange County Animal Allies’ program “No Empty Bowls.” On Saturday, May 30, from 8 a.m. to noon, they will be collecting food for both people and pets. 

Adhering to our current social distancing orders, it will be a drive-through/drop-off situation at Laguna Beach Dental. 

Rhonda says, “Our neighbor Laguna Beach Dental graciously offered up the use of their parking for our food drive. It’s an ideal location on the corner of Coast Hwy and 5th Avenue and will make an easy drive-through/drop-off event. Our volunteers will be taking all the safety precautions necessary with masks, gloves, and social distancing. The plan is that our donors won’t even have to leave their cars, just pop their trunks or unlock their doors.”

The food donations will help provide healthy protein, fresh fruit, and vegetables for the hundreds of families served weekly by the Laguna Food Pantry (LFP). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are many vulnerable community members who are experiencing food insecurity and don’t have access to healthy food. 

South Laguna basket

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Photo by Lynette Brasfield

Donations of healthy protein – canned tuna/meats, beans, peanut butter –and also fresh fruit/vegetables are appreciated

In addition, unopened bags and cans of pet food will be accepted and donated to Orange County Animal Allies “Your Empty Bowls” program. (Cash and checks are welcomed also.)

Rhonda says, “As you probably know, South Laguna is a tight little community. A group of neighbors decided to get involved and pitch in to help Laguna Food Pantry continue to meet the increased demand for their services to the OC community during the COVID-19 crisis.

“Executive Director of Laguna Food Pantry Anne Belyea has requested that we advise our donors of the need for healthy protein for their clients during this tough time – canned tuna/meats, beans, peanut butter – and also fresh fruit/vegetables are much appreciated. We will also be accepting cash and checks made out to Laguna Food Pantry for their continued work.”

LFP is experiencing a surge in shoppers due to job losses, and on May 7 had a record number of cars – 210 – come through to pick up groceries. Typically, they collect and distribute 5,000 lbs. of food every weekday and serve over 500 families serve in South Orange County, approximately half of them with babies and children to feed. 

“Also, since SoLag is a pet lover’s haven, we wanted to include something for the OC Animal Allies’ program called ‘No Empty Bowls’ to support their efforts with supplying pet food to shelters and outlets throughout the county,” says Rhonda. “We will be accepting unopened bags and cans of pet food on their behalf.”

South Laguna dog

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of OC Animal Allies

Donations of unopened packages and cans of dog food are needed

The nonprofit OC Animal Allies’ “No Empty Bowls” program helps people in our community who need time to get back on their feet while preventing their pet from going hungry or being relinquished to a shelter due to lack of resources. They acquire, store, and donate pet food and pet care items to local organizations feeding our low-income community. They distribute over 55,000 pounds of pet food every year – which has fed 8,500 local pets.

As stated on their website, “Many people in our community simply need a ‘helping paw’ with feeding their animals for a few weeks as they get back on their feet after losing a job, the death of a family member, or recovering from an illness. Our distribution partners pick up donated food and other available supplies from our warehouse to distribute at their food pantries.” 

Cindy, a Laguna resident for 38 years and Rhonda’s neighbor, says, “We will be promoting on Nextdoor, Facebook, and pass out some posters/flyers to local merchants. We are looking forward to doing something to lend a hand to those needing some assistance, while hoping to see many of our friends and neighbors at the drive.”

Don’t miss this opportunity to help both the people and pet population who are experiencing food insecurity.

Laguna Beach Dental is located at 31796 S Coast Hwy.

For more information about the Laguna Food Pantry, go to

For more information about OC Animal Allies, go to


Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor & Writer.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut is our Chief Photographer.

Alexis Amaradio, Barbara Diamond, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Marrie Stone, Maggi Henrikson, Samantha Washer, and Suzie Harrison are our writers and/or columnists. Scott Brashier is our photographer.

Stacia Stabler is our Social Media Manager & Writer.

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