SIMI VALLEY : Group Delivers Food Baskets for the Needy

A Simi Valley community group known mostly for its work on development and safety-related issues has widened its focus this holiday season and delivered 32 Thanksgiving food baskets to a food bank for distribution to needy city residents.

"As we became more involved in the community, we realized there was a need we weren't fulfilling," said Eileen Gordon, co-founder of Citizens for a Safe and Scenic Simi Valley. "We decided that in addition to working on safety issues and preserving the beauty of the community, we wanted to expand and help the residents who lived here."

The 2-year-old group contacted Care & Share, a community food bank, and asked what it could do, Gordon said.

"They said that at Thanksgiving they never have enough food to give to the people who come in," she said. "So we decided to prepare Thanksgiving baskets."

Group members went door to door in search of individual donations and also placed advertisements seeking corporate donors, Gordon said, which paid off in the form of a generous donation from Bugle Boy Industries.

The holiday baskets prepared by the 100-member group include a turkey, stuffing, potatoes, vegetables, gravy, cranberries and pumpkin pie, Gordon said.

"It helps out a lot," Care & Share Director Willa Dobbs said of the group's efforts. "Anytime anybody donates, it helps the whole community."

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