Families in Southeast Los Angeles receive a turkey to celebrate Thanksgiving

Families in Southeast Los Angeles receive a turkey to celebrate Thanksgiving

Many of the residents appreciated the food, but also the fact that they survived the pandemic

Starting at 6 a.m. Monday, the line of cars began to grow rapidly, covering much of Florence and Salt Lake avenues to reach the Huntington Park Community Center. Hundreds of vehicles were waiting to receive a pantry that will cover their entire dinner for the celebration of this Thanksgiving Day, celebrated on November 24.

Among the participants who patiently waited in line was Mrs. Claudia García. She arrived accompanied by her daughter Stephanie Lares from downtown Los Angeles and they found out through social networks about the delivery of pantries that included a turkey.

“It’s very good like this because there are six of us in the family, this way we can share with more people,” said Garcia, who has four children.

Lares explained that she was very happy to have received the turkey from her and this Thanksgiving she has a lot to be thankful for her mother and the effort that everyone in the family makes for her.

Also on the line was Lili and her mother Elena Sánchez, both residents of the city of Maywood.

The girl said she learned about the turkeys through the city of Bell’s Facebook page.

“There are about nine of us and it will help us a lot,” said Lili. “We are very grateful to those who help us, this is the second time we have come.”

Mrs. Elena said that this year she is grateful that everyone is healthy and was able to emerge victorious from the Covid pandemic.

“We give thanks to life, it gave us Covid, but it wasn’t that serious,” Elena said.

Assemblyman Anthony Rendón, who was present during the turkey distribution, said it was a very special moment and a good opportunity for families, especially in times of economic hardship.

“This is what celebrating the holidays is all about,” Rendon said.

He added that the funding to buy the 550 turkeys, food boxes and the pie came from sponsors. Some donated the food and others donated money to buy what was missing.

Rendón, who represents the Huntington Park area, said that this Thanksgiving he is grateful for his family, but also for being able to achieve opportunities like this where hundreds of families will be able to have a complete dinner.

“It’s always good for us to make sure we give something back to our community,” Rendón said.

Mr. Isidro Lujan, who is retired, said that it is much more difficult for him to be able to buy a turkey because with the monthly check he receives, his expenses are very tight.

“The little they give us is barely enough,” said Luján. “Already with these foods it helps us a lot for dinner. If we didn’t have turkey, we would have to buy at least some quail or a chicken.”

He thanked and said it was a great opportunity to get to pick up a turkey in Huntington Park.

The volunteers

The volunteers were mainly high school boys and some elementary school children. Wilma Franco, executive director of the Southeast Los Angeles (SELA) collaborative came to offer her volunteer service with the students and her 9-year-old son.

She indicated that this day was especially good for encouraging students to spend time on their day off volunteering in their community. Schools usually give students a vacation during the week of Thanksgiving.

“We want to teach them to change the idea that it is not only ‘give me, give me’ but that it is also good to give instead of just receive,” Franco said. “These events give us the opportunity to create that moment for young people to get involved in the community.”

Her son Samuel Morales said that he really enjoyed being able to help distribute the food to the families.

“I’ve been putting turkeys in their cars for families in need,” said the little volunteer.

Franco explained that this year she gives thanks to life, mainly for having overcome the three difficult years that have been experienced due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“But we also know that there is a lot of suffering in our communities. I thank God for my work and for having the opportunity to support the community in the way we have done here in SELA,” Franco said.

The event was aimed primarily at residents of Maywood, Bell, Cudahy, South Gate, Lynwood, Paramount, Lakewood, Hawaiian Gardens, Bellflower, Walnut Park, Huntington Park and North Long Beach but no one was turned away.

Melissa Galbraith
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.