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VALLEY ROUNDUP | Pacoima

Church to Distribute Food at Block Party

October 15, 2000|ZANTO PEABODY

In a celebration of its effort to combat hunger and violence in the northeast Valley, the New Christ Memorial Church will hold its annual "Help Heal Our Streets" block party Friday and Saturday.

Organizers expect to distribute more than 50 tons of food to 5,000 needy families during the festival, which will run from 4 to 11 p.m. each day at the church, 13333 Vaughn St., Pacoima.

Sandra Crouch, co-pastor with her brother, Grammy-winning gospel singer Andrae Crouch, said she began the event after serving water and food to victims of the Northridge earthquake in an area of the Valley that had been plagued by gang violence.

"We wanted to make sure people got involved in the community," she said. "We can't just see struggling single moms sleeping in cars and see people in line for sandwiches and say, 'That's too bad' and keep walking."

Crouch said she has seen signs the "Help Heal Our Streets" campaign is working.

"Our church is in the middle of the area where gang wars have been fought, but there's never any burglaries," she said. "There's no graffiti on our building because we're feeding the gangsters' mothers."

Andrae Crouch said he plans to deliver a message to fight complacency among residents who have grown weary of trying to reduce violence.

"I regret to say that I have been performing more funerals of young people than I can or care to count," he said. "And I'm tired of it."

Joining the Crouches at the block party will be performers Tremaine Hawkins, T-Bone, Billy Preston, Phil Aguilar and others.

For more information, call (818) 361-1087, Ext. 101.

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