After much research, Jay Goldinger single-handedly founded, funded, and facilitated a unique feeding program for the homeless and poor in Los Angeles called Food on Foot. What began as a few dinners out of the trunk of his car in 1996 has expanded to the distribution of hot, nutritious chicken dinners, healthy snacks, and clothing to more than 500 homeless and poor toddlers, youth, and adults. Food on Foot is available every Saturday and Sunday throughout the year, rain or shine. Food on Foot is in areas that make it accessible to the homeless so they do not have to worry about finding transportation to get to a nutritious meal.
Sensitive to the needs of the homeless, Goldinger buys prepackaged chicken dinners that are healthy and nutritious. He also buys granola bars, fruit roll-ups, peanut butter crackers, fresh fruit, bottled water, milk, and bread. He realized those living in the streets need food with a long shelf life. In addition to food, he also purchases clothes and blankets. Goldinger is present every Saturday and Sunday personally; he is consistent and reliable.
In addition to meeting their physical needs, Jay also helps to change their economic situation. Goldinger works to find the homeless full-time job opportunities through a trash clean-up program he developed called “Work for Food.” In return for a $5.00 food gift certificate he purchases, any individual can receive two empty 64-pound trash bags and fill them with street trash. Not only does the food certificate provide food, but also it rewards them with the confidence needed to get back on their feet again. Through “Work for Food,” after an individual trains for at least two months and shows a desire for full-time employment, he or she is given an outside job opportunity he has found for them.
Since Food on Foot is made up of over 1,200 volunteers that he has recruited, all donated funds go directly toward the purchase food. When donated funds are not enough to cover the cost of almost $2,000 per weekend, Goldinger supplements the remainder of the money from his own pocket.