"Each year, hundreds of thousands of Angelenos go hungry, including far too many in the San Fernando Valley. The problem is especially severe this year, as so many families are struggling due to the economic collapse and spiking unemployment. Through this food drive, we can help ease the pain of our less fortunate neighbors throughout the Valley."—Paul Krekorian
With this declaration, Los Angeles City kicked off a food drive with collection barrels in his own headquarters. From now until Nov. 19 anyone can bring non-perishable food items to the councilman's office in the Los Angeles City Hall or at his two offices in the Valley.
"We want to make it easier for people to donate where they live," says Jeremy Oberstein, in the Councilmember's Los Angeles office. Of course you don't have to live in Krekorian's district to make a donation.
The three locations are:
Los Angeles City Hall
200 N. Spring St.Room 425, Los Angeles( 213) 473-7002
6350 Laurel Canyon Blvd., Suite 201, North Hollywood
Sunland-Tujunga 7747 Foothill Blvd., Tujunga (818) 352-3287
The councilman initiated this holiday food drive in 2009, during the heat of his campaign. Even with the election upon him, the drive collected 1,250 pounds of groceries. With success like that, the Krekorian decided to make the appeal an annual event.
Volunteers will deliver the donations the weekend before Thanksgiving to food banks in the second district to give to their needy clients. Those agencies include Sunland-Tujunga Temporary Aid Center, 7747 Foothill Blvd., Tujunga, (818) 352-8988 and , with facilities at Temple Beth Hillel and The First Christian Church of North Hollywood. The Pantry's distribution center is at the church, 4390 Colfax Ave, Studio City, CA, 818-939-1187.
Kim Glazer of the Interfaith pantry said, "We welcome this generous gesture. We welcome that they want to give it to us. We really thank them for including us because we need food to supplement what we get from the L.A. Regional Foodbank. And we still need to buy more food to make these bags that have increased in count over the last two years."
She emphasized that the local connection is especially meaningful.
"We have this problem in our own backyard," she added. "You don't have to take your kids downtown to help. You can find good meaningful opportunities to give right here because there are people here who need it."
The Studio City Neighborhood Council has thrown its full support behind the councilman's effort, said president John Walker.
Oberstein told Patch that a cash donation of $2,000 has been pledged by Michael L. Klausman, president of (Radford Studios).
"We had a good year. Business has been good and we want to give back a little to the community," Klausman told Patch. When he and CBS Studio Center vice-president Joe Soukup saw the councilman's flyer, they thought donating to his food drive would be a good way to accomplish that.
That's heartening news for those who serve in the pantries.
"We're not foolish enough to think these problems will go away," said Glazer. "We're in our 27th year of operation."
Councilmember Paul Krekorian represents Los Angeles' Second Council District, which includes much of Studio City and North Hollywood. His Web site is cd2.lacity.org.