The city of Inglewood’s Thanksgiving turkey giveaway and Councilman Alex Padilla’s food and toy drives are annual events geared towards assisting the city’s most vulnerable residents. This years food giveaways were most important due to the COVID-19 pandemic. CalWORKS/GAIN participants have shared with 2UrbanGirls that they were sent an email stating that both events were cancelled.
“Why were we told the events were cancelled when they were all over the news and city’s social media pages?” asked a participant who refused to be identified for this article.
Etelvina De La Torre, Director of the West Los Angeles College Foundation, sent participants a late night email, on Friday, November 20, 2020, alerting participants that the turkey giveaway wouldn’t take place that Monday.
The highly publicized turkey giveaway did take place with multiple news outlets present to film Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts Jr. and rapper Snoop Dogg personally handing them out.
Also mentioned by De La Torre as being cancelled was Councilman Alex Padilla’s food and toy giveaway, despite the city providing photos showing donations being made. In Padilla’s December 17 newsletter he thanks everyone for dropping off the food and toys calling the event a “huge success”.
CalWORKs/GAIN (California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids/Greater Avenues to Independence) is a government (both state and federal) funded program that offers temporary financial assistance, vocational and job skills training, as well as other support services and whose goal is to assist program participants in transitioning from welfare to long term self-sufficiency and gainful employment through coordinated student services.
2UrbanGirls was unable to reach a member of the city’s administration or member of Councilman Alex Padilla’s office due to the two week annual closure of city hall.
De La Torre was also not reachable for comment to understand why she sent out notification that events were cancelled that took place.