Rotary Club partners with Food Pantry to donate turkey dinners

Rotary Club of Santa Clarita Valley member, Steve Corn, left, hands out soem of the 300 frozen turkeys to one of the dozens of attendees lined up at the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry in Newhall on Tuesday, November 23, 2020. Dan Watson/The Signal
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The Rotary Club of Santa Clarita partnered up with the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry on Tuesday for their annual turkey donation, helping to give local families in need a Thanksgiving dinner.

“This (donation) goes back to the origins of the club, which is 54 (years old) this year,” Rotarian Larry Parsons said. “So this and our Fourth of July are the two longest-running, continuous events that we’ve ever done in the community.” 

This year, a total of 200 turkeys, along with 100 chickens for those with smaller families to feed, were donated for each meal kit, which also included stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes and canned vegetables.

Rotary Club of Santa Clarita Valley member, Chris Ball, hands out some of the 300 frozen turkeys to some of the dozens of attendees lined up at the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry in Newhall on Tuesday, November 23, 2020. Dan Watson/The Signal

“As you can tell by our long line, it’s really affecting the community,” Food Pantry Executive Director James Espinosa said. “There’s so many people that are food insecure and so many families in need, especially in this COVID time.” 

For Canyon Country resident Carla Rabaglia, this food donation means everything to her.

“It’s wonderful,” she added. “I’m very grateful that the Rotary Club is doing this, especially with this terrible (pandemic) going on. I mean, you can’t even go out to eat anymore.” 

Rotary Club of Santa Clarita Valley member, Evan Buescher, left, hands out some of the 300 frozen turkeys to one of the dozens of attendees lined up at the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry in Newhall on Tuesday, November 23, 2020. Dan Watson/The Signal

As a “relative newcomer,” only having joined the club in 2018, Parsons said it’s been incredible to see the hard work Santa Claritans put into their local community.

“I just like the fact that the community takes upon itself to take care of its own,” he added. “This is a very special year, too. There’s a lot of people here that you wouldn’t normally see because of COVID. It’s really impacted a lot of people.” 

Since the pandemic began, the Food Pantry has seen an increase in food distribution, which hasn’t let up since, according to Espinosa.

For more information on how to help the Food Pantry, visit scvfoodpantry.org.

Rotary Club of Santa Clarita Valley members hand out some of the 300 donated frozen turkeys to one of the dozens of attendees lined up at the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry in Newhall on Tuesday, November 23, 2020. Dan Watson/The Signal

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