In 1987, we answered a call to action from the City of West Hollywood to help unhoused people in need and decided to offer a simple meal every single day.
We began by offering sandwiches on a street corner and grew into a nightly Community Dinner for anyone in need.
The need was so pressing that we quickly transitioned from a simple cold meal to a complete, hot nutritious meal. We began to serve soup, casseroles, green salads, fresh fruit, bread, dessert, sandwiches, and beverages. In our early days, we rented a small kitchen and trucked the meals to our nearby sidewalk service location at the corner of North Sycamore Avenue and Romaine Street.
For the first two decades, we served an average of 70 people each night. That number jumped in 2008 and continued to grow steadily. In 2020, we served an average of about 200 meals each night.
We are proud that we haven’t missed even a single night since the very beginning.
The volunteer spirit has always been deeply rooted in the Hollywood Food Coalition. For years, we were an all-volunteer organization, and today our volunteers continue to be the heart of our organization, coming together each night to help us care for our neighbors.
Our Mission, Vision, and Work Remain Unchanged with Our Indoor Location.
In January 2017, we entered into a collaborative agreement with The Salvation Army to accommodate increasing need for our meal services. Joining forces allowed us to move our weekday meal service from the street to an indoor dining space at The Way In Center on Hollywood Boulevard.
Our mission, our vision, and the core of our work remain unchanged. Even better, the move allowed our guests to have access to bathrooms and have a sense of community as they enjoy their meals indoors at communal tables together.
The Evolution to Additional Programs
Over the years, we’ve responded to the need for additional areas of assistance in the community by developing our Community Exchange and Community Wellness programs. Our Community Building values and philosophies are integrated into each of our programs.
You can learn more about our programs on this website by following the links, below. Community Dinner Community Exchange Community Wellness Community Building
Safety Adjustments for COVID-19
We have not missed a night since the Pandemic began. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated shifting to a to-go meal model, temporarily replacing the in-person sit-down dinner at The Way In Center. We are eager for the eventual return of our sit-down dinner that created greater opportunities for our Community Wellness Program. The sense of community it fosters each night is essential for our guests.