Anonymous donation helps stock Glendale food bank

Just as things had begun to look glum this holiday season for coordinators of the local food bank, Loaves and Fishes, an anonymous donor heard their call for help and bestowed them with $20,000.

The donor's sizable gifts, including 15 shopping carts full of Costco groceries, came after he read a News-Press story earlier this month about the food bank's need for funds to fill its pantry, which feeds hundreds of families, seniors and the homeless.

"I am flabbergasted," said Lora Young, the food bank's program coordinator. "I am usually not without words. I had to go get my glasses. I was just about dancing on air."

Young had been waiting for a $20,000 Emergency Food and Shelter grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which was supposed to be issued more than six months ago.

The funding would have helped Young pay for food supplies to last through winter and until spring.

But the funding hadn't arrived, so the food bank, which is in south Glendale and operated by Catholic Charities of Los Angeles Inc., has had to survive on donations from neighborhood businesses.

Now, with the donor's check, Young said she will be able to purchase food that she would have normally bought with federal funding.

That donor's generosity is just one of the acts of kindness local food banks have come across this Thanksgiving holiday.

Burbank Temporary Aid Center has received thousands of pounds of canned goods from Nickelodeon Animation Studios and 200 turkeys from Warner Bros. Studios and the Brad Korb Team of RE/MAX in Action Realtors.

"We will be able to get through Thanksgiving," said Barbara Howell, the organization's executive director. "It's all coming together."

Once Thanksgiving is over, the agency, an assistance facility with a local food pantry, seeks out ham and roast beef donations for Christmas.

Still, these days have been difficult for the agency.

The agency feeds nearly 600 families per month, and the need has continued to increase, she said.

The Salvation Army Glendale is all too familiar with growing demand for food.

As hardship in the community increases, supply resources have become scarce.

"I think everyone is tapped out," said Rick White, the local organization's director of social services.

But the work isn't over for local assistance groups.

On Thursday, White and volunteers with the local Salvation Army planned to prepare enough Thanksgiving dishes to feed 400 families.


Follow Veronica Rocha on Google+ and on Twitter: @VeronicaRochaLA


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