Councilwoman helps spreads joy at pre-holiday event

By Shirley Hawkins

Contributing Writer

SOUTH LOS ANGELES — The spirit of Thanksgiving arrived early Nov. 17 when City Councilwoman Heather Hutt and more than 30 volunteers loaded up the cars of Council District 10 residents with free turkeys, vegetables, eggs, grains and snacks at the Michelle and Barack Obama Sports Complex.

As hundreds of constituents drove up in their cars, Hutt and volunteers delivered 700 turkeys to families in need. In all, Hutt and volunteers distributed more than 60,000 pounds of food during the event.

“This is so great,” said Hutt, happily surveying the crowd. “So many people have come by. People started getting in line at 6:30 a.m. and it’s just been ongoing, so we’re here to fill the gap.”

Pausing, she added, “I just want to say happy Thanksgiving to everybody and I’m so glad to be in CD 10 so that we can help them.”

Vickie Miller, 72, said she was looking forward to seeing her family members who were flying in from Texas, Mississippi and New Orleans to share the Thanksgiving holiday with her.

“They’re all my sisters and brothers,” she said. “I haven’t seen them in years. I’ve been praying to see them again. All I can say is ‘Thank you, Jesus.’”

Asked how she planned to prepare her turkey, Miller winked. 

“I have a secret recipe. I don’t share it with anybody,” she said.

As the morning wore on, lines of constituents walked up to the complex and patiently waited to receive their turkeys.

Eighty-three year old Mattie Smith said she was touched by a mother and daughter who were waiting in line to receive a turkey. Smith gave hers away to the couple.

“I don’t have anybody but me,” Smith said.

Jasmin Trujillo, a case manager for the People’s Concern, said she brought three clients to the turkey giveaway. She said food insecurity was a real concern for her clients. 

“My clients are very grateful because most of them don’t have a meal to eat everyday,” Trujillo said. “At

least for Thanksgiving, I know their turkey is going to last a little longer. 

Trujillo said one of her clients is going to invite one of her neighbors to her home so that they can all share her turkey.

Trujillo was happy that Hutt was reaching out to help their constituents.

“This is a great organization,” she said. “I feel the event was well organized and I want to thank CD 10.”

Fabiola Gonzalez said she had three kids waiting at home and felt happy and blessed to receive a turkey. 

“I am unemployed right now so getting a turkey is a big help,” she said.

Deborah Scarlett, 62, said she was the mother of six kids.

“Five boys and one girl,” she said.

Scarlett was grateful to have received a turkey during a time of hardship.

Mary Jones, who drove up in her car, was also grateful to receive a turkey. Jones said she was sympathetic that there were so many people in need.

“I’m going to give the turkey away to someone in the neighborhood who has children,” she said.

Barbara Jarrett was happy to attend the turkey giveaway. 

“Being a senior citizen on a fixed income, I really appreciate this,” she said. “I would like to thank Heather Hutt so much for doing this. We constituents in her district appreciate all that she has been doing for us.”

After the morning’s giveaway, Hutt and members of her staff provided turkeys to various fire stations within the district to ensure that the community’s local heroes had everything they needed for the Thanksgiving holiday.

On Nov. 20, Hutt then joined forces with Councilwoman Eunisses Hernandez at the Normandie Recreation Center in the Pico Union District where waiting constituents received chicken, ham, eggs, fruits and vegetables.

“I want to thank my friend and colleague, Councilmember Eunisses Hernandez, all the volunteers, churches, and organizations for helping make our giveaways so successful,” Hutt said.

“The holiday season is a time for families, friends, and neighbors to come together to break bread and celebrate with one another,” Hernandez added. “I’m grateful for the faith leaders, community groups and nonprofit organizations who supported this event and helped ensure that our families have access to free, healthy food as they head into the Thanksgiving holiday, and I want to thank my friend and colleague, Councilwoman Heather Hutt, for her partnership in making this special event possible.”

Both giveaways were in partnership with Community Build and Mothers In Action. Councilwoman Hutt plans to spread more joy all holiday season.

To access upcoming holiday events, visit the Council District 10 website at

Shirley Hawkins is a freelance reporter for Wave Newspapers. She can be reached at