harbor-area-families-get-grocery-gift-cards-to-help-during-coronavirus-pandemic

  • Bryan Jebo, director of operation at Boys & Girls Club, distributes $100 gift cards to Vons grocery store to pre-selected families under the new LA Harbor Area COVID-19 Relief Fund launched by the office of Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino in San Pedro on Friday, April 10, 2020. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press-Telegram/SCNG)

  • Councilman Joe Buscaino distributes a gift card to Juanita Aguilar at Boys & Girls Club in San Pedro on Friday, April 10, 2020. The $100 gift cards to Vons grocery store were given to pre-selected families under the new LA Harbor Area COVID-19 Relief Fund launched by the office of Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press-Telegram/SCNG)

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  • Residents sign in to get their $100 gift cards to Vons grocery store for pre-selected families under the new LA Harbor Area COVID-19 Relief Fund launched by the office of Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino in San Pedro on Friday, April 10, 2020. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press-Telegram/SCNG)

  • Melissa Hernandez at the Boys & Girls Club, with her $100 gift cards to Vons grocery store. Pre-selected families were given the cards under the new LA Harbor Area COVID-19 Relief Fund launched by the office of Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino in San Pedro on Friday, April 10, 2020. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press-Telegram/SCNG)

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Hundreds of families lined up at several Harbor Area locations Friday morning, April 10, to pick up $100 grocery gift cards as part of a relief effort for those affected by the coronavirus pandemic, an initiative Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino launched in partnership with the local Boys & Girls Clubs. .

At the Boys & Girls Club on Cabrillo Avenue, in San Pedro, 250 cards were handed out in a drive-by distribution from 9 to 11 a.m., with cars lining the one-way street in front of the facility. Six other locations also also tapped passed out the cards out on Friday.

The gift card distribution was the first day in a series of efforts by Buscaino, the Boys & Girls Clubs of LA Harbor and, soon, local restaurants paid for by the LA Harbor Area COVID-19 Relief Fund.

The $1 million relief fund will also pay for seniors in need to receive free hot restaurant meals via delivery, a program scheduled to begin sometime next week; plans are also in the works for food distribution sites at seven of the 20 Harbor Area locations for the Boys & Girls Clubs.

Buscaino began the program with a $500,000 contribution from his office’s discretionary funds. That was then matched with another $500,000 from San Pedro native Chuck Ursini Jr., now of Manhattan Beach.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise additional money for the program, which will also address housing needs. The goal, officials say, is to raise up to $2 million.

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By Arlene Huff

Arlene Huff is the founding member of Golden State Online. Before that She was a general assignment reporter. A native Californian, she graduated from the University of California with a degree in medical anthropology and global health. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

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