During the COVID-19 pandemic, Councilmember Blumenfield and his BobCAT have stepped up to the challenge to rapidly supply residents of the West Valley with PPE and other vital supplies.
Through the leadership from Nathan Wolfstein and Jamie Pellegrini, the BobCAT on Disaster Preparedness quickly dispatched 800,000 masks at the outset of the pandemic. By coordinating with the LAPD the BobCAT was able to distribute these masks to stations, which were then dispersed to homeless shelters, nonprofits and other high-need areas. The BobCAT was also able to distribute 1.7 Million cloth masks from FEMA to the Boys and Girls Club, Native American Tribal reservations and other groups and other communities also in need outside of the West Valley.
Also, the pandemic caused an immediate food shortage among local food pantries and non-profits that serve the needy. Many of the grocery stores and restaurants that normally donate to these pantry’s were suddenly unable to do so (restaurants were closed/food overstocks were rare) and many of their volunteers (often retired/older people) were staying home. This crises was compounded by the fact that the need for food spiked at the very same moment because so many people were suddenly without a job or income. The BobCat stepped up by immediately delivering truckloads and pallets full of canned food and other non-perishables to these groups from their emergency warehouses which were full of forward- deployed emergency supplies. This created a lifeline for many (including West Valley Food Pantry, Guadeloupe Center, OneGeneration, etc) and got them stabilized until they could establish or resume a more regular supply chain of donated food.
When COVID-19 testing and vaccine sites opened in the West Valley, the BobCAT was there to support the CORE and LAFD staff on-scene by supplying them with PPE, water and food. Over the course of the pandemic, over 700 pallets of supplies were dispersed.
In addition to the hard work of Blumenfield's Emergency Preparedness BobCAT, the Councilmember also has run several mask giveaways for community members in need of PPE. Blumenfield and his staff personally delivered thousands of masks to residents and also coordinated dozens of drive-thru events outside of the District Office so residents of the West Valley could be better protected against COVID-19.