‘Food bank influencer’ Kristina Wong helps feed striking Angelenos

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Kristina Wong and World Harvest Food Bank Founder Glen Curado are offering free groceries and more to union members who are on strike. Video courtesy of YouTube.

As SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes have dragged on, World Harvest Food Bank in Mid City and comedian Kristina Wong have teamed up to help out-of-work Hollywood actors and writers. 

“We have these people who make hundreds of millions of dollars, who don't want to share it with the people who helped them get rich. And what I'm talking about [are] the Hollywood executives, and they've actually said, ‘We're going to wait for people to lose their houses, we're going to starve them out. And then maybe we'll go back to negotiating. And we'll make them so desperate that they do this.’ So this is horrifying to me that they would say something so cruel, and they intend to enact something so cruel,” Wong tells KCRW. 

She continues, “My favorite place in LA is my local food bank, World Harvest Food Bank, it’s run by my best friend Glen Curado, and I said to him, ‘What do you think if we helped feed the folks on strike right now?’” 

Since Curado said yes, more than 100 union members have been coming per day to his charity on Venice Boulevard. 

Unlike traditional food banks, World Harvest is similar to a grocery store. People can show their SAG or WGA union card, then fill their carts with food. They can pick their produce (mostly organic), bread, protein, dairy, canned goods, even vitamins and makeup. 

“That's a huge thing with dignity — is having choice in what you put in the cart. … It's ‘wowing’ to a lot of folks who are coming for the first time because it's crazy that we have so much good food and so much stuff,” she says. 

Non-union members can receive the same benefit if they volunteer for four hours. Even hotel workers with Unite Here Local 11 are coming in for food boxes, which are underwritten by a city council member.

“People aren’t used to this level of generosity in LA. And so we're just extending this generosity to our folks on strike and hoping that some of the 2% of our union that actually make money as an actor will help pay it back so that we can pay for this crazy endeavor,” says Wong. “It's not really being supported by anything right now, just the infrastructure of the food bank.”