Dana Johnson poses with some of Food Now's valued volunteers.

A Desert Hot Springs organization founded in 1959 serves families and individuals throughout Eastern Riverside County who are facing food insecurity.

Food Now provides healthy, nutritious food weekly on Wednesdays and Thursdays at their facility in Desert Hot Springs. Food Now is a member of Feeding America and also distributes food from USDA and local partners to approximately 350 families every week. Over the course of a year, the organization distributes 1 million pounds of food, which is enough for 800,000 meals.

“The residual effects of a food assistance program are boundless,” the organization’s Executive Director Dana C. Johnson said. “When you have food, you can allocate that money to buy clothing, pay rent, or repair your vehicle, and that decreases poverty.”

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for services increased, and Food Now rose to the challenge, serving 750 families a week. When the organization realized that many of its clients could not leave their homes due to the health risk, it increased its home delivery service from 10 home deliveries per week to more than 80. Partnering with local service organizations such as Rotary, Women’s Clubs and churches, Food Now was able to increase its services through the support of volunteers.