Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry Steps in to Help During the Holidays
SANTA CLARITA, CA - The Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry held its annual holiday Turkey Drive before Thanksgiving from November 20th through the 24th to help families in need. Because of the pandemic turkeys are in short supply, but that didn’t stop the pantry from giving away as many as it could.
James Espinoza, the food pantry’s Executive Director said the pandemic hurt with donations, “We didn’t get the 300 turkey’s we got last year, we got about 200 turkey’s this year so we are hoping to feed about 200 families this year.”
The pantry was prepared to give out other food stuffs besides turkey once the turkey ran out. Inside the pantry the shelves were stocked with groceries typically needed during the holiday season, such as mash potatoes, gravy and stuffing.
Mr. Espinoza said the pantry had supplies other than food to give out. They are heavily stocked with toiletries, baby supplies, medicine, and anything that is needed in the home to keep needy families healthy year round.
Many people turned up to get food. The line wrapped around the gate surrounding the building. Others were there to donate supplies. Mindy Cabral, a music teacher at the Little School of Music in Santa Clarita was donating on behalf of her school, which hosted an interactive fundraiser to help families during the holidays. “We actually had an event where if they made a donation they could vote for a teacher to get a pie in the face, and guess who that lucky teacher was? It was me! It was super fun and the kids were encouraged to help out their community.”
Before the pandemic, many families were struggling during the holidays keeping food on the table, but during COVID the problem got worse. Programs, like Feeding America projected that 42 million people may have experienced food insecurities in the year 2021.
In Los Angeles County nearly 1 million households have reported being food insecure during the pandemic in a report that had been released by the Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin in October.
In the interim places like the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry gives families hope that they can enjoy a nice hot meal during the holiday season and year-round.
Video credit Alexia Mersola
Audio Credit: Alexia Mersola
Photo Credit: Alexia Mersola
Video Credit: Alexia Mersola