More than 600 families lined up in their vehicles outside the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson Sunday, Nov. 22, for Kinecta Federal Credit Union’s 47th Annual Holiday Food Drive.

The annual event, this year done as a drive-thru to ensure everyone’s safety amid the coronavirus pandemic, supported families from nearly 40 local community organizations, including Al Wooten Jr. Youth Center, LA Child and Family Services, Boys & Girls Club of Carson, City of Hawthorne Project Gobble and the South Bay Family Health Center.

The drive has existed for nearly half a century to serve families in need during the holiday season; but because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, executive staff returned to the drawing board to plot out how to host the event.

“In past years, we’d host a more intimate event indoors at Jesse Owens Park in Los Angeles,” said Latrice McGlothin, community engagement officer for Kinecta, which is headquartered in Manhattan Beach. “Staff with Kinecta and local leaders would deliver presentations.”

But the pivot to hosting a drive-thru event did not hinder their operation, McGlothin said.

The food drive saw around 600 families receive bags of traditional Thanksgiving food items, including rice and stuffing mix, along with a $75 gift certificate. In total, more than 1,000 families — some selected by the community-based organizations — will receive bags by the end of the week.

This year, Kinecta also exceeded its $80,000 goal in monetary donations from the community, corporate sponsors, members and individual donors. The credit union has raised more than $90,000, McGlothin said.

“The need is always there,” McGlothin said. “But especially this year, when people are being challenged health-wise, children are working from home. We can pool resources together, so everyone can be happy.”

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