Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Tmes
Socorro Gonzalez, 83, was one of the many people who lined up early on a recent morning, waiting for MEND to open in Pacoima. The organization, which serves about 46,200 people a month in the San Fernando Valley, has seen a 26% increase in demand so far this year. The Valley has been particularly hard hit by the nations economic downturn, in part because of steep job losses in the entertainment and financial services industries.
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