PALMDALE – With Thanksgiving less than a week away, 175 needy families in Palmdale received a helping hand Monday.
Each family was given a free turkey and all the items needed for a full Thanksgiving feast with all the trimmings, courtesy of South Antelope Valley Emergency Services (SAVES).
“It’s a tradition in the nonprofit world to give out baskets for Thanksgiving, but I think it’s become even more important over the last few years as the economy has turned,” said SAVES Coordinator Patricia Morales. “We really worked hard to increase the baskets that we provided this year because we know more and more people are having to make tough choices between rent and food.”
Morales said the families had to meet income guidelines and have minor children in their homes in order to qualify for the Thanksgiving basket.
Each baskets includes items such as a 12 lb. turkey, stuffing, canned vegetables, cranberry sauce, instant mashed potatoes, canned sweet potatoes, boxed macaroni and cheese, corn muffin mix, canned pumpkin mix, gravy, broth, rolls, oatmeal, juice, fruit, pie crust mix and margarine or butter.
For single mother, Karline Tacderan, the food couldn’t have come at a better time.
“This is my first time doing this,” Tacderan said, adding that she could not have afforded the meal on her income alone. “This will help me to make dinner for my daughter and my other kids that don’t live with me. I will have a great Thanksgiving feast!”
Vincent Daily said he was looking forward to making dinner for his family of five using the items from his Thanksgiving basket.
“This helps us out a lot because we’re not very fortunate to have these things,” Daily said.
Morales said the food symbolizes hope for the needy families.
“Hope that things will get better,” Morales said. “It also gives people a feeling that they’re not alone in the community, that there are people out there that do care.”
The SAVES program was started in 1983 to offer assistance to individuals and families in Palmdale who are experiencing a temporary emergency situation.
Supplies and monetary donations may be brought to SAVES, located at 1002 E. Ave. Q-12 in Palmdale. For more information about SAVES, call 661-267-5191.