Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, donated 1,000 pounds of food to the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry Saturday morning as part of “Saturday of Service,” a monthly event hosted by his congressional campaign.
Garcia told The Signal that “Saturday of Service” represents charity, which he said is one of the commitments of his campaign.
“I ran on commitment to the Constitution, capitalism, competition and charity,” Garcia said, noting that his campaign had been collecting food from the community over the past three weeks. “Charity is, especially on the heels of a pandemic, how I think we’re going to get better as a community.”
Garcia was joined at the SCV Food Pantry by his campaign volunteers, including Denise Lite, who coordinates “Saturday of Service.” Lite said she was joined by 25 campaign volunteers last month for a trash pickup in Canyon Country.
Garcia’s campaign will be hosting a blood donation drive for next month’s “Saturday of Service,” according to Garcia. Garcia also said he will commit to these monthly charity events for what he hopes will be several years.
James Espinoza, the food pantry’s director, and dozens of food pantry volunteers quickly started categorizing the food donated by Garcia’s campaign.
“Everything has its place and purpose here,” Espinoza said. “Once we’ve looked at all the dates, we’ve shifted over to the warehouse. Warehouse gets moved on to the shelves. Shelves go into the bags. Bags go to our clients.”
Espinoza said Garcia’s campaign has been donating to the pantry for almost a year and during a time when the pandemic has impacted the pantry.
“Family numbers have increased, more people are hungry,” said Espinoza, noting the best way to help the pantry now is by volunteering. “Right now, we are also short on drivers. A lot of our volunteers are high-risk to COVID, so they aren’t volunteering as often.”