Frequently Asked Questions
Where is The Pantry?
The Laguna Food Pantry is located at 20652 Laguna Canyon Road in Laguna Beach, between the Dog Park and the Pacific Marine Mammal Center. Parking is free but limited; please observe posted signs regarding parking.
Do I need to be a U.S. citizen to shop at the Pantry?
No. Our food is for anyone who comes through our doors who is in need. We only ask your name and what community you live in for our record-keeping purposes - this helps us when applying for grant monies.
Do I need to tell you how much money I make?
No. We take you at your word that you are in need of supplemental food.
Do I have to live in Laguna Beach to get food?
No. We offer food to anyone who requests it.
Don’t you feed only homeless people?
No. In fact, only a small percentage of our food is consumed by people who are experiencing homelessness, and we do not inquire about one's housing status. We are located next to the Alternative Sleeping Location (ASL), an emergency overnight shelter run by Friendship Shelter in conjunction with the City of Laguna Beach, but the Laguna Food Pantry is a separate nonprofit entity.
Who comes to the Pantry for food?
Every shopper is different. Some are seniors getting by on social security. Some are hampered in their earning power by a physical or mental disability. Some are temporarily sidelined from working by an injury. Many are working full-time at minimum-wage jobs but simply cannot afford to pay all their bills and put food on the table. We have seen people who used to donate to the Pantry come in for free food; likewise, we have volunteers and donors who had previously experienced difficult times, got back on their feet financially, and returned to help us in our work providing food for those in need.
What kind of food do you offer?
We offer basic grocery items intended to be prepared in a kitchen for meals. We typically stock items such as bread, rice, beans, fresh and canned vegetables and fruits, pasta, cereal, and other goods. We often have a supply of packaged, ready-to-eat items.
Where do you get the food you give away?
Our volunteers pick up daily from several local grocery stores. We purchase food in bulk from Second Harvest, a food bank in Irvine run by the nationwide nonprofit Feeding America. Businesses, schools, service clubs and churches hold food drives. Residents bring us their surplus of fresh produce from their gardens and orchards.
Where do you get your funding?
Our modest budget comes from a combination of grant money and private donors.
How many people are on staff?
We have an executive director, a part-time Pantry Manager, and outside consultants for bookkeeping and communications. Our operation depends on the generous community volunteers and board members who donate their time to helping us achieve our mission.
Can I bring you leftover food from my party?
In a word, no. But it may depend on what the food is - call us to talk about it: 949-497-7121. If your need is urgent and we are not open, try calling the Friendship Shelter, a program for homeless adults based in Laguna Beach, to arrange a drop-off: 949-494-6928.
Do you receive expired food from grocery stores?
No. We work hard to ensure that all our food is completely safe to consume. When in doubt, we throw it out - or into the biodegradable waste bin to divert it from the landfill.