The Burbank Temporary Aid Center got financial help for Thanksgiving supplies Tuesday with a $2,000 donation from local police officials.
Burbank Police command staff made a pledge of $1,000 that was later matched by the Burbank Police Officers’ Assn., Deputy Chief Tom Angel said at a donation event on Tuesday.
The donations will assist Burbank Temporary Aid Center with providing turkey dinner supplies and help continue a sack lunch program and pay utility bills for needy clients, said Executive Director Barbara Howell.
“It’s really helpful and can be used on many levels,” Howell said. “Two thousand dollars will go a long way to fill the gap left by the loss of the other funding.”
Burbank Police Chief Scott LaChasse said police were sensitive to how tough the economy is and “the dire straits people are in.”
Mark Armendariz, president of the Burbank Police Officers Assn., said officers donate to the center’s food drive every year, noting that sometimes police aren’t viewed favorably among the homeless.
“We’re always the bad guys when it comes to the homeless, but we want to help,” he said. “Thanksgiving is coming up and we know there are people who may not be as fortunate as we are who are not going to be able to do a turkey dinner. “
Howell noted the approaching holidays can be difficult for people who are already struggling. The cooler weather and lack of shelters make it difficult for the homeless, she said.
The center buys the cooking supplies — everything from turkey to pie crust to cranberry sauce — so that clients can make the holiday meals at home.
“Then we do it again for Christmas,” Howell said. “It’s easy to pick up pumpkin pie mix and cranberries — it’s not so easy to pick up a turkey.”
Two hundred power bills, at about $100 a piece, also could be paid with $2,000, she said. A turkey costs about $15 and that money could be put toward a power bill when turkeys are donated, she added.
For people and families needing assistance, Howell said they should come to the agency and sign up as a client and register to take advantage of the holiday food supplies.
Howell estimated the center has about 400 homeless clients and assists 2,000 to 2,500 struggling households. At three to four people per household, Howell said the number is close to 10% of the city’s population.
The center will begin distributing food for Thanksgiving dinners on Nov. 17. The center begins distributing Christmas dinner supplies on Dec. 13.