Providing food for needy families

Tom White stands with a shopping cart full of grocery bags which he and his friends will be donating to local homeless and needy families. Austin Westfall/ The Signal.

Saugus resident Tom White is in the spirit of giving.

As part of a donation drive presented by the Valencia Sprouts Farmers Market, White, along with 3 friends bought around $1,000 worth of grocery bags to donate to homeless and needy families in the Santa Clarita Valley.

“We just started deciding to help people out and wanted to seed some meals and just help needy people,” White said.

“We just feel that we want to bless people.”

Sprouts’ Grab ‘n Give holiday food drive gives shoppers the opportunity to purchase and donate bags of groceries at a 10% discount.

Tom, with the help of friends Jack Blanchard, Earl Bayless and Justin Kolacinski bought 40 bags, the majority of which will go to the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry.

“(White) told me what he was doing and he asked me if I wanted to help and I just jumped at it,” Blanchard said.

“It’s something to give back.”

The 40 grocery bags were specially-made Thanksgiving-themed bags containing potatoes, stuffing, gravy, yams, pineapple, green beans and cranberry sauce as well as a Sprouts gift card to supplement for perishable items—such as turkey.

“It feels really good,” said Sprouts Store Manager Stella Zielinski, who also spends time volunteering at the Food Pantry.

“(I see) where the food comes from and where the food goes out to, so it’s a nice thing to see.”

Although many families will benefit from Saturday’s donation, White wants to go bigger next month.

“We’ll do 100 to 150 (bags) for Christmas,” he said.

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