The importance of eating three meals a day to stay healthy is common knowledge; however, many families and children still struggle to meet this health guideline. The Volunteer Center South Bay-Harbor-Long Beach (Volunteer Center/Center) Food For Kids Program helps to address this challenge by providing weekend meals to families of students in elementary schools. The meals come from food donated by community members and organizations.

Torrance Refining Company LLC (TORC) has been a strong supporter of the Volunteer Center for many years and recently hosted a Breakfast Food Drive to restock the Center’s Food For Kids pantry. In the last month, refinery employees have donated a total of 178 lbs. of shelf-stable, healthy foods, such as cereals, oatmeal, granola bars and nonperishable fruit snacks.

“The Volunteer Center offers vital services to help nourish our young people in more ways than one. In addition to providing children proper nutrition through The Food for Kids program, the Center is also focused on youth mental health. The Center is launching a new youth program that will help young people combat isolation, manage their emotions, learn new coping tools, and balance self-care and sleep. I am excited for this new program and glad to serve on the Board of an organization that is making such a meaningful and timely impact on our community,” said Western Region Director of External Relations Betsy Brien who serves on the organization’s Board of Directors and works for TORC’s parent company, PBF Energy.

Torrance Refinery Process Safety Supervisor Alex Holt, whose entire family has become actively involved with the Volunteer Center, shared his motivation for giving. “Years ago, I remember receiving a call from an old friend who had just moved into a new home. He had no money to pay for anything else, not even food. Although money was tight for us then too, my wife helped me realize that we had a full cupboard and freezer. We were able to give them enough supplies to carry them through. That night, I realized that prosperity is more than money. This is one of the reasons my family and I work closely with the Volunteer Center; we are very aware of the gap they close for many South Bay communities, families and especially children.”

Since the COVID-19 pandemic and the State of California’s “Safer at Home” orders began, the Volunteer Center has provided more than 1800 meals to families, including students who normally rely on food provided by the schools. As the students begin this new school year remotely, the need continues.

Volunteer Center CEO Sara Myers expressed, “We are so grateful to the team at the Torrance Refining Company for stepping up and responding to the needs of our community once again. This donation will directly help alleviate some of the food insecurity that families are experiencing in record numbers during this crisis. The children have shared with us that they look forward to cereal as a special treat, so please know that your donations will put bright smiles on their faces as you feed them and ensure they can concentrate on their schoolwork this year. Thank you!”

The Volunteer Center is continuing to accept donations by appointment only. To see their updated list of needs, please visit their website. You may also donate through Amazon Smile and have it shipped directly to the Center.

To learn more about the Volunteer Center visit