By CBSLA Staff

WESTLAKE (CBSLA) — Thanksgiving celebrations might look a little different this year.

Aside from restrictions on traveling and gathering, many families are struggling to put food on the table due to the financial toll of the pandemic.

Hundreds of those families lined up on Saturday morning at the Rampart Police Station in the Westlake District at a grab-and-go turkey giveaway to get some much needed help.

“The community really needs to help right now,” said Derek Alvarado, one of the organizers of the event. “We have the chance to provide that, and we’d like to do it.”

Saturday morning’s giveaway also provided produce and other grocery items to keep food on the table all week long, not just on Thanksgiving day. Some of the food was provided by the L.A. Food Bank, but the turkeys were each individually bought by someone — volunteers, organizers, and others — who wanted to help a family in need this holiday season.

Adolfo Escobar waited in line for hours for free groceries — something he said he wished he didn’t need.

“It’s not easy,” he said. “I lost my job, four months with no income. My wife is working 3, 4 hours a day. So it’s very hard.”

Escobar isn’t alone. The line started forming at 6 a.m and wrapped around the block within an hour.

“It’s like this everywhere you go where they are giving out food for the community,” said another food recipient, Claudia Arrezola.

The turkey giveaway was one of many that have been hosted around the city over the past few days. On Saturday, there are three.

On Friday, the L.A. Clippers hosted a drive-thru food giveaway at The Forum in Inglewood.

“Due to the COVID rules, you really can’t get up close and personal, but still just the smile on the kids’ faces and the smile on the parents’ faces is the reason why you do this,” said Clippers guard Patrick Beverley. “It’s the reason why you do this.”


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