Of the many Thanksgiving food giveaways held throughout the East San Gabriel Valley over the holiday, one of the most popular was a joint effort by Sowing Seeds for Life, a nonprofit charity, and the Christ Church of the Valley of San Dimas.
Held in the DPI Labs parking lot at 1350 Arrow Highway in La Verne all afternoon on Wednesday, it drew a crowd estimated as possibly as many as 5,000. At one point, there were so many people trying to get into the parking lot that traffic was backed up for a quarter of a mile on Arrow Highway.
Sowing Seeds for Life (SSFL) is a food bank founded in 2007 by Glendora resident Vicki Brown, the CEO of DPI Labs, an aerospace engineering and manufacturing company. SSFL regularly holds food pantry giveaways the first and third Wednesday of every month.
Four years ago the Christ Church of the Valley became asking its large congregation to donate turkeys and other food so it could offer the needy a Thanksgiving meal. It started out on a small scale but has grown to a point where this year there were 14 sites where meals involving some 11,000 turkeys were handed out – two Tuesday, three Wednesday and nine Thursday.
Jeff Vines, a pastor at the church, attended the fourth annual Sowing Seeds of Life celebrity golf tournament held Oct. 8 at Glendora Country Club. There he talked with Vicki Brown about teaming up with Sowing Seeds for Life. That planted the seed for what turned out to be a very special Thanksgiving event.
The church provided the food for the turkey dinner and Sowing Seeds for Life provided the facility and its regular fare of canned goods, produce, water and various other items.
“This was a win-win,” said David Sill, another Christ Church of the Valley pastor.
“To see all the smiling faces, particularly on all the children here, warms the heart,” said Brown.