nonprofits share the love of the season

Meals on Wheels

Each year, the city’s Meals on Wheels program delivers over 8,000 meals to homebound seniors and serves 2,400 meals at the Lakeview Senior Center’s Rose Cafe. More than 200 drivers deliver meals five days a week, providing hot food and a human connection.

“It can be life-changing for the volunteers,” says Jaclyn Svensson, of Age Well Senior Services, which coordinates the program for the city. “It’s a very personal experience – your time, your kindness, and you know you are making a difference.”

Volunteer drivers typically deliver eight to 10 meals a day.

Learn more at or call 949-724-6910.

Second Harvest

Second Harvest Food Bank has been feeding those in need for 40 years.

Each month, food from its Irvine distribution center and farm goes to 294 partners at 362 sites – feeding approximately 400,000 people throughout Orange County.

“I personally thank all of our supporters, donors and volunteers for your assistance throughout the last 40 years,” CEO Claudia Bonilla Keller says. “We could not have served the community without your help.”

The food supplies school pantries, after-school programs, senior-serving locations and more. And thanks to the Irvine farm, which opened in 2021, the focus is on nutrition.

The farm yields over 2 million pounds of fresh produce each year – staples that range from cabbage to green beans to watermelon, picked fresh daily by volunteers.

“We like to say we’re on a nutrition mission to ensure all are well-fed,” Keller says.

Learn more at‑involved.

Families Forward

Each year, Families Forward prevents and ends family homelessness by providing access to housing and resources that create lasting stability.

“We see an Orange County where every family has a home and the opportunity to thrive,” says Madelynn Hirneise, CEO of the Irvine-based nonprofit.

Last year, the nonprofit helped 679 families achieve housing stability, while providing support services, including food and basic needs, for over 12,000 adults and children.

Often invisible, the fastest-growing segment of people experiencing homelessness, Hirneise says, is working families with children struggling to make ends meet. The high cost of basic living, including rent, transportation and child care, puts many families at risk.

Families Forward collaborates with the United Way, the Commission to End Homelessness, First 5 Orange County and other agencies and foundations to place these families in sustainable housing each year.

Learn more at