Addressing Food Insecurity in Southern California: The Seva Collective

Luca O'Connor May 16, 2024

A Grassroots Initiative Making a Big Impact

Food insecurity and the prevalence of food deserts are pressing issues across the United States, impacting many hardworking families who struggle to access nutritious food options. In response to this challenge, a dedicated group of volunteers in Santa Ana, California, launched the Seva Collective, a free drive-thru food pantry, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

What started as a small, scrappy operation has grown into a vital community resource. The Seva Collective has provided over four million meals to those in need. Founders Bandana Singh, Ravin Kohli, and Saanand Singh initially sourced food and toys on their own, driving to various locations across California to secure supplies. Bandana Singh explains:

Our goal is to get fresh food, as well as shelf-stable food to every family's car or cart who comes through the drive. We have cars line up as early as three or four in the morning — we don't start the drive till 9:30 a.m. So to us as the volunteer team, it tells us that the need is there and we want to do whatever we can.

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