A food distribution for more than 18,000 people affected by the coronavirus pandemic is planned for Monday in Wilmington to mark Labor Day in lieu of the canceled Los Angeles/Long Beach Harbor Labor Coalition Parade.
Los Angeles County Supervisors Janice Hahn and Hilda Solis, Los Angeles City Joe Buscaino, Reps. Maxine Waters, D-Los Angeles, and Nanette Barragan, D-San Pedro, and several labor leaders are among those set to place boxes of food in trunks of vehicles at Banning Park.
The food distribution is organized by the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, in collaboration the Los Angeles/Long Beach Harbor Labor Coalition, which consists of more than 20 labor organizations, and Labor Community Services, a nonprofit organization which describes its mission as providing “a safety net for union members, whether it be through the food program, disaster relief fund or financial literacy.”
More than 75,000 families in Los Angeles County have received food assistance since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic through the partnership involving Labor Community Services, the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor and numerous labor unions throughout the region, according to the federation.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is discouraging gatherings for Labor Day to avoid spreading the coronavirus, just like he did for Independence Day.
“Make sure you don’t barbecue with friends outside your household, that if you’re invited to something take a rain check and say, `I’ll see you next year because I care about you,”’ Garcetti said in a video distributed on his Twitter account.
Labor Day, the yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of the nation, was first celebrated in the U.S. on Sept. 5, 1882 in New York City.
In 1887, Oregon became the first state to formally recognize Labor Day. By 1894, 31 of the then-44 states had made Labor Day a holiday when Congress passed a bill designating the first Monday in September a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and territories.
“Every year, Labor Day reminds us to pause to thank and celebrate the talented, determined workers across Los Angeles County,” Supervisor Kathryn Barger told City News Service.
“Our workforce is the backbone of our local economy because of passionate people in every profession. Whether you work in a school, restaurant, construction site, community center, office, or as a first responder, your work is valuable and you are appreciated.” Barger also encouraged Los Angeles County residents “to support their favorite local businesses and restaurants.”
“Their service and your support make our communities stronger,” she said.
In his Labor Day proclamation, President Donald Trump wrote, “Since the founding of our nation, American workers have deployed their talents to build beautiful cities, develop new technologies and shape the global economy. Now, our country depends on these hardworking patriots as we continue to aggressively fight the coronavirus pandemic.
“In particular, we celebrate every American who has worked tirelessly to ensure we maintain our way of life in this unprecedented time. These vital workers include medical professionals, grocery store and pharmacy clerks, farmers, meatpackers, truckers, factory workers and the many employees who are important to the supply chain that makes essential goods and medications accessible to all Americans.”