D. Martinez / SFVS

As the homeless population grows throughout every corner of L.A. County, so does their need for their basic human needs. At the top of the list is food.

Thanksgiving is the one time of year that charitable organizations turn their attention to those who have no where to go for the traditional meal.

More than 500 homeless people were served a Thanksgiving meal with all of the trimmings Tuesday in Van Nuys. The San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission held it’s 17 annual Thanksgiving dinner at the Spanish language church Iglesia En El Camino in Van Nuys.

Thousands of people also braved a blocks-long line before the holiday to pick up a box filled with Thanksgiving dinner fixings at the 34th annual E.J. Jackson Foundation Turkey Dinner Giveaway in South Los Angeles, an event that continued as scheduled despite the recent death of the event’s founder.

Some people in line said they had been waiting for as long as three days to ensure they would receive a holiday meal at the giveaway, which began with

a moment of silence in memory of Ellsworth E.J. Jackson, who founded the event.

Jackson was the owner of Jackson Limousine Service, which has become

well-known as the chauffeur to the stars. But Jackson became even better known for his annual turkey giveaway. Last year, more than 12,000 turkeys were handed out, along with other Thanksgiving meal fixings. Mayor Eric Garcetti called Jackson an “inspiration” and a “role model.”


“The holidays in L.A. won’t be the same without E.J. on the streets at sunrise, making sure everyone’s basket is full,” Garcetti said. “He set a timeless example for us to follow.”