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Officer Organizes Event to 'Scare Away Hunger'

October 27, 1998|EDWARD M. YOON

Sgt. Dan Mastro, mastermind behind the summer's weeklong food drive in the parking lot of the LAPD's West Valley station, is at it again.

This time around, Mastro has helped organize a Halloween party for Valley teens and the "entrance fee" is food for the needy.

Mastro is teaming up with officers from the Los Angeles Police Department's West Valley and Devonshire divisions, the Los Angeles County Probation Department and other sponsors to feed the hungry with the first "Scare Away Hunger" food drive and party on Halloween.

Children 12 and under who donate nonperishable food items can receive candy treats and attend parties at either the Northridge Recreation Center or Lanark Park on Saturday, Mastro said.

"There are hungry people who need to be fed and plenty of kids in our community who I know want to help," Mastro said. "This effort is targeted at our children to impart upon them the importance of giving and to mobilize the community to fight hunger."

Participating children will also be eligible to win one of 12 new bicycles donated by the County Probation Department. Other event sponsors include the city Department of Recreation and Parks, the California Highway Patrol, Los Angeles Fire Department, the FBI, the Nestle and Allstate Insurance companies, the Woodland Hills Optimist Club and other civic and business organizations.

The donated food will be delivered Monday to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, which will distribute items to food pantries, churches, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, homes for battered women and low-income day-care centers throughout the county, said Doris Bloch, executive director of the food bank.

"Sgt. Dan Mastro's commitment to helping feed the hungry is an outstanding example of what we can do together to solve problems in our society," Bloch said. "His efforts will be especially important to us as the holiday season approaches, as more and more demands will be made on us."

The "Scare Away Hunger" parties and food drives will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. at Northridge Recreation Center, 18300 Lemarsh St. and at Lanark Park, 21816 Lanark St., Canoga Park.

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