PLATINUM2024

MEND

People helping People

aka MEND - Meet Each Need with Dignity   |   Pacoima, CA   |  www.mendpoverty.org

Mission

With dignity and respect, MEND’s mission is to meet immediate needs of individuals and families and increase their access to opportunities that strengthen their capacity to thrive.

Notes from the nonprofit

Juan has an open & gregarious personality. During a recent visit at MEND, we got talking and learned he was once a MEND client. He shared that his family moved into the community in the 80s. At first life was good – to the extent that an 8 year-old could discern. But soon it became obvious that the family of 5 was struggling. Things became so bad they could barely afford the rent to their small 1-bedroom apartment. It was a tough time for the family. But one day, at a community fair they met MEND & learned for the first time that there was help. They didn’t need to go to bed hungry. Juan recalls how nice it was to pick up a bag of food each week. “I (was) so excited to get a juice cup from the volunteers,” He recalls. The good fortune continued. Juan’s father found a steady job & in time was able to save enough to move the family and no longer require MEND’s crisis services. Juan’s childhood memories are filled with thanks. Today, he's a successful young man.

Ruling year info

1976

President/CEO

Ms. Janet Marinaccio

Main address

10641 N. San Fernando Rd.

Pacoima, CA 91331 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

M.E.N.D.

EIN

23-7306337

NTEE code info

Human Service Organizations (P20)

Food Banks, Food Pantries (K31)

Nutrition Programs (K40)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2022, 2021 and 2021.
Register now

Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Food insecurity is the limited ability to get enough food for adequate nourishment; it means worrying about having enough food because families lack the finances to buy more. It has far-reaching implications both for the individual and low-income families and the larger community. Adults and children who are food insecure are less productive at school/work, and more likely to suffer from other conditions, including depression, obesity (from eating cheap, fast food as a substitute for good nutrition), and developmental delays. Hunger is a symptom of underlying factors related to poverty. Food insecurity is therefore a powerful symbol of larger economic and social challenges and struggles experienced by individuals and families. We recognize that successfully addressing the condition requires multiple approaches including – in addition to food access – steady employment & income, financial health, education, legal status, health & wellness, and many other pathways.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

MEND Community Nourishment Programs

MEND’s Community Nourishment Programs (CNP) feed thousands of food-insecure people a month through a Food Pantry (direct distribution), Food Bank (distribution to partners), Buen Provecho Farmers Market (self-selection of fresh fruit/vegetables) and Little Health Market (low-carb options for people with chronic health conditions). CNP distributed almost 4.0Million lbs. of nutritious food in 2021, translating to 3.1 million meals benefitting almost 300,000 people. Those utilizing the CNP include families with children struggling to make ends meet, low-income seniors and people who are homeless who sometimes rely on foraging to survive. As the San Fernando Valley’s largest food bank/pantry, we additionally serve thousands of people throughout the region who access food through 53 partnering faith- and community-based food pantries which rely on MEND for food, thus expanding impact on food-insecure people throughout LA County.

Population(s) Served

MEND offers all of its core services to people experiencing homelessness. Our Homeless Care Services traditionally support about 2,000 men and women every year, serving them a hot meal and providing them with food-to-go, change of clothing, hygiene items and referrals to our partners in housing & addiction/mental health treatment. During the pandemic, some services were paused and we continue to embed our services to those who are homeless in other MEND programming and continue providing nutritious food, hygiene kits and referrals for additional services. As public health requirements have eased, we have restarted First Step every Thursday morning at MEND's Pacoima location.

Population(s) Served
Homeless people
Adults

The Family Support Program (FSP) works with families who demonstrate the highest need and can benefit from individualized support to achieve their goals. Our case managers are working with enrolled families one-on-one to help them overcome long-term challenges that have kept them dependent on the Community Nourishment Programs. Case management continued throughout the pandemic, primarily via phone check-in’s and occasional distanced in-person visits. As we look ahead, we are continuing the success of FSP by consolidating it into the Here We Thrive (HWT) program to focus on holistic service-delivery to the community. Here We Thrive merges all of MEND’s existing case management services, adding a critical employment component and other supports to help families uncover/address the root of the issues that keep them dependent on MEND’s crisis services. HWT is an innovative, forward looking, and optimistic answer and plan to bring real change to the individuals & families that we serve.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Families
Children and youth
Adults

The Pathways to Wellness (PtW) program, utilizing a case management approach, helps individuals who are struggling with chronic health conditions learn and incorporate behaviors that help them achieve better food security and empowers them to develop lasting healthy lifestyle habits. Clients participate in cooking demonstrations, nutrition workshops, exercise groups, and access to The Little Health Market where they receive low-carb food options to support their goals to achieve healthy weight, blood pressure & lower blood readings. We modified but did not stop services during the pandemic allowing for socially distanced workshops and wellness checks. As we look ahead, Wellness will consolidate under the Here We Thrive (HWT) program to focus on holistic service-delivery to the community. HWT is the innovative, forward looking, and optimistic answer and plan to bring real change to the people that we serve.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Health
Adults
Families

Spurred on by increasing COVID cases in late 2020, MEND started Hope & Care outreach services to engage community members in conversations about COVID, to help with testing and vaccination appointments and to support those who are isolated due to COVID with food-delivery to discourage them from breaking quarantine to access food. Through Hope & Care, we’re also reaching people in need of mental health assistance with referrals and support.

Population(s) Served
Health
Adults
Families

Finally, because MEND serves a population of people that are deeply vulnerable, we also offer supportive services to help (upon evaluation) participants in need of help with paying part of their rent, utilities, professional clothing, even home items like a stove, bedding, etc. During the pandemic, for example, a few of the families we support found themselves struggling with mediocre internet connections, no computers, and other technology deficits. In some cases, MEND was able to directly help. Where MEND is unable to intervene directly, we refer participants to other partner agencies in the community.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people
Seniors
Homeless people
Adults
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people
Seniors
Homeless people

Where we work

Awards

California Non-Profit of the Year 2012

California Governor's award

RecycLA Star Award 2018

Republic Services

Affiliations & memberships

Best Nonprofit of the Year - San Fernando Valley 2021

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of clients who complete job skills training

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

(1) Individuals obtain work experience in customer service, food bank/pantry, administration, etc. (2) Job seekers with multiple barriers to employment participate in soft skills training.

Number of volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

MEND Community Nourishment Programs

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

MEND engages volunteers of all skill-levels to help meet the needs of the community.

Number of clients served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Economically disadvantaged people, Children and youth, Immigrants and migrants, Unemployed people

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This metric records the total number of participants (duplicated) served in a calendar year across all MEND programs.

Number of meals prepared by families.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Children and youth, Families, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

MEND Community Nourishment Programs

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

MEND tracks the number of meals prepared by families that are made possible through the distribution of food kits by MENDs Foodbank/food pantry.

Number of pounds of food distributed.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged people, Adults, Children and youth

Related Program

MEND Community Nourishment Programs

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

MEND tracks the number of pounds of food distributed directly to the community via the food pantry, food bank, Buen Provecho farmers market, and Little Health Market.

Service encounters for homeless individuals and families.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Homeless people, Adults

Related Program

FIRST STEP: Homeless Care Services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Number of individuals who received services at First Step services for the unhoused. Typically, participants access curated food bags, clothing, hygiene items & other support services once a week.

Food-insecure community members benefiting from distribution of nutritious food .

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged people, Immigrants and migrants, Unemployed people

Related Program

MEND Community Nourishment Programs

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Each client receives 2 food bags at MEND - 30-35 lbs. of fruits & vegetables, and 40 lbs. of shelf-stable food, i.e. canned food, rice, beans, etc. bread, eggs, and other items.

People reached through various outreach interventions with mental health resources, information on other community services, and referrals.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Families, Health

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This metric measures outreach conducted by the Hope & Care community ambassadors to provide public health information, mental health referrals and wellness resources.

Participants served by Pathways to Wellness

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Health, Adults, Families

Related Program

Pathways to Wellness (transitioning under Here We Thrive in 2022)

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of participants enrolled in wellness activities working toward achieving better health, weight loss, lower bp and healthy blood sugar, etc.

Number of diapers distributed to families in need

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Families, Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

MEND provides diapers to the most vulnerable families with small children.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Through a comprehensive set of programs and services, MEND seeks to alleviate food insecurity and meet the crisis needs of the most vulnerable in order to create opportunities for individuals and families to not only survive, but to thrive. MEND also aims to ensure it continues to be an efficiently run organization capable of meeting the needs of the community and remain an anchor institution in the San Fernando Valley. As we celebrate 52 years, MEND is looking for ways to answer the question: How can we help our community develop the resiliency it needs to combat and overcome the next crisis? Distributing food alone, though important, does not eradicate hunger and food insecurity. Though food access remains critical to our mission, we are also looking at an approach to help more of our families overcome food insecurity and achieve the life security they need. Post-COVID we have therefore introduced HERE WE THRIVE (HWT), which is a suite of services offering wellness, employment/income and other vital supports. Our work is committed to strengthening individuals, families and the entire community by addressing their root challenges. Poverty, wellness, and food security are inextricably linked.

HWT offers the following services to help participants who are ready to address long-term and deep-seated challenges that have kept them from thriving.
o PATHWAYS to Wellness addresses chronic illness such as diabetes & hypertension with improved nutrition, behavior- and lifestyle-change. Participants engage in group activities - nutrition classes, weekly exercise, cooking demonstrations, etc., and a smaller number, approx. 100 participants/year, work with a health coach for individualized care. A partnership with Providence Hospitals allows us to extend this service to an additional caseload of 50 patients to address their routine use of emergency rooms for medical care. Lastly, a collaboration with Partners in Care, allows MEND to support high-need Medi-Cal members address such barriers to health as transportation, housing distress, medication compliance, and more.
o GATEWAYS: Employment Services – helps job seekers with multiple barriers to employment find & keep a good & stable job. Participants receive access to skills development, transitional work experience, vocational learning, and job placement & retention assistance.
o CONNECTIONS: Resource Coordination - a service navigation model that connects participants to community services such as housing, legal, public benefits, mental health, etc.
o LIVING WISE + WELL services provide a place where adults ages 55+ can access food tailored to their needs, engage in light exercise (chair yoga, etc.) and make lasting friendships.
o Finally, FIRST STEP services address the needs of approx. 800-1000 unhoused and homeless individuals, providing them with food, clothing, hygiene items, and referrals to other community resources.

MEND aspires to build a stronger, more resilient community in two ways: (1) by meeting their crisis needs - food, clothing, services for those who are homeless, COVID-information & resources, etc. and; (2) helping them discover and address endemic challenges that contribute to their current economic & social vulnerability. MEND's 2021/24 strategic plan also emphasizes co-location & partnerships with high-impact agencies to address the challenges that keep the most vulnerable in poverty.

The following four major focus areas will guide our work overall over the next 3 years (2021-2024). Annually, work plans, indicators, and measures will be developed by the staff and leadership allowing for maximum responsiveness to changes in our community’s needs.

Strategies for ensuring the needs of those we serve are met, are as follows:
o Partnerships: Leveraging expertise and core capabilities of other providers: Ensuring that MEND maintains robust collaborations with grocery retailers, food distributors, and food service providers who supply the bulk of food for distribution; and partnering with community- & faith-based food pantries are critical to our efforts to reach underserved, food-insecure communities throughout Los Angeles. SB1383 opens up new opportunities to partner with groups that previously did not donate excess food – thus increasing the supply of available edible food for distribution. A third type of partnership is one that brings community resources within easy reach of our clients. In 2022, we will increase efforts to open up onsite space for agencies that provide needed services and who are willing to co-locate at MEND.
o Program Excellence: Adopting measurable and transformational outcomes: Providing for the immediate needs of vulnerable people is important, but MEND is also invested in working one-to-one with families to help them uncover and overcome long-term challenges that keep them dependent on crisis services. This program – Here We Thrive – offers intensive, case managed individualized supports addressing such areas as income/employment, housing, health/wellness, etc. that affect and hold families and individuals back from thriving.
o Financial Integrity: Cultivating a viable and sustainable business model: MEND has worked incredibly hard to retire debt, eliminate deficits, diversify income and build up reserves. In fact, if we hadn’t taken the steps to do so before the pandemic, MEND may not have survived the pandemic. Our commitment to good stewardship is a core strategy which gives our community confidence that MEND will be there through good & hard times.
o Organizational Vitality: Improving fundamental capabilities and core strength: Hiring the right staff & engaging committed volunteers is a key strategy in helping meet goals. MEND’s diverse staff and volunteers are plugged into the communities we serve, and speak the languages our clients speak. This has contributed to a deep trust between those that we serve & MEND.

As an anchor to our community, MEND has accumulated decades of experience in serving the most vulnerable people in the community, developed strong & effective partnerships, and enlisted seasoned and dedicated Board members, organization leadership, professional staff and volunteers to deliver on outcomes. A well-thought out strategic plan with regular monitoring provides the framework for accomplishing key goals.

Started in a San Fernando Valley garage in 1971, MEND has grown from a volunteer-driven group to become an enduring and trusted community anchor. MEND was incorporated in 1976 and established its first office in 1986 and began to provide onsite services. The concerns that Ed and Carolyn Rose sought to address at inception - hunger, crisis, and hopelessness in a wealthy city - remain today. MEND’s mission has endured through the years and continues to anchor & guide our work in the poorest communities. We have offered uninterrupted core services (food, homeless services) for 52 years, and since 2021, we’re also offering intensive interventions to help families address recurring & often, deep-seated challenges that keep them from thriving.

The Community Nourishment Programs (CNP) are MEND’s largest service offerings. Started as a community-run food pantry offering access to supplementary food for low-income people 5 decades ago, CNP now distributes an average of 4 million pounds of nutrition annually through a food pantry (direct to the community), food bank (distribution to 36-50 local food pantries), farmers market (unlimited fresh produce) and the Little Health Market, which addresses the nutrition needs of participants addressing a chronic health condition.

In 2022, MEND benefited almost 300,000 people, a significant number through the Community Nourishment Programs, First Step services for the homeless (789 unduplicated), community engagement & referrals to other agencies, diaper distribution to low-income families (63,000), hundreds of school backpacks, 2,600+ board games/toys, and holiday giveaways. Our Hope & Care community outreach ambassadors provided resources and connections to 113,158 neighbors.

We have a saying at MEND that the most successful participants as those who no longer need our crisis interventions, including supplemental food. This is the goal of many of the people we serve, and in fact because of the input we received during the 2020 strategic planning process, we started Here We Thrive (HWT) case management services to do just that. HWT helps participants address the health and economic challenges that have kept them reliant on the food pantry and other emergency services. With focused tools and resources to address health, employment, & economic deficits, our purpose now includes helping to disrupt the cycles of generational poverty that too many of the individuals and families we serve, experience. Our current strategic plan includes a vision for organizational, individual, and community resilience - because thriving includes being able to bounce back after a crisis. We recognize that successfully addressing these long-term challenges require multiple approaches including – in addition to food access – steady employment & income, financial health, education, social connectedness, legal status, health & wellness, and many other pathways, that we are now offering.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals, To support our strategic plan development.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We share the feedback we received with the people we serve, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time

Financials

MEND
lock

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.

Subscribe

Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

MEND

Board of directors
as of 03/06/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Alex Hemmelgarn

Lewitt Hackman

Term: 2024 - 2026

Steve Brown

Real Estate Investment & Finance

Ron Villafana

State Compensation Insurance Fund (ret.)

Alex J. Hemmelgarn

Lewitt Hackman

Sally Turner

Journalist Professor

Margo Messina

Bank of America

Paula Bahamon

Mission Valley Bank

Robert Rawitch

Retired, CSUN

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 3/6/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 08/31/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.