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Do You Need a Hug?

Everyone could use a hug from time to time. Physical contact is good for the soul and can often heal where medicine fails. Hugging someone or providing a tender touch can be both spiritual and medicinal. COVID-19 has taken that gift away from us. We are living in days where physical touch with someone outside of the people we live with is discouraged. However, there are new ways to hug people and help fulfill a need and possibly heal hurts. With food disparities and struggling restaurants doing their best to keep their doors open, there is a group that has started the “Food Hug” Program in Pasadena to recognize frontline heroes with a comforting meal by supporting minority-owned restaurants.

In a recent conversation, Lilly Rocha, from the Latino Restaurant Association (LRA) was excited to share with me about the launch of the Food Hug Program in Pasadena. The goal is to buy meals for personnel in healthcare, grocery stores, senior living/nursing homes, utility workers, as well as first responders and frontline workers to show their appreciation for their sacrifice, as well as to support local minority-owned restaurants. The Food Hug Program not only shows support but also helps to keep small businesses open and boost the local economy. It also provides exposure for small black and brown restaurants in the Pasadena area that could easily go unnoticed during these difficult days. The LRA Food Hug initiative hopes to keep up this good work until the end of the year. To learn more about their work you can visit

The Latino Restaurant Association is not the only organization trying to make a difference with keeping restaurants alive and thriving. SoCalGas recently launched a restaurant recovery program where they are donating $75,000 to Black-Owned Restaurants in Los Angeles County and the Inland Empire. These efforts are all in response to helping restaurants that have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Trisha Muse, Director of Community Relations at SoCalGas says that it is critical to support Black-owned restaurants that are struggling during this time. To learn more visit Public and private entities are coming together to do what they can to make a difference and we can help.

Hunger has been with us since the beginning of time. Food has always been a way to make peace and as I shared in the beginning, it can provide healing. When people come together to break bread understandings grow and barriers begin to fall. Food also transcends cultural barriers and brings unity to communities. We have so much negativity around us right now with the pandemic, civil unrest, and political chaos we could all use a little hug. One thing we can control is helping each other to the best of our ability and help provide those in need with nourishing food.

Mahatma Gandhi said, “There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.” We are that bread. We must all do what we can to help provide food to those in need and to those who put their lives on the line for the rest of us each and every day. Food is one of the basics of life which no one should be denied. Let us come together to help be part of the solution and give someone a hug, through food.

Healing Without Hate: It's a choice. It's a lifestyle. Pass it on!

Visit and to learn more. Wendy is an international coach, consultant, trainer, author, and speaker. She can also be found live on Instagram @Wendygladney on Wednesdays at 12 noon PST.

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