by Winston Chua
ARCADIA – Motivated largely by the difficult experience shehad in dealing with her aging father, Arcadia native Tamara Kato chose as hercareer to improve the quality of life to all seniors. She realized there was alot she and her family had to do, including providing home health care, tosustain her father’s high quality of life.
Kato is helping lead a massive food drive with the companyshe represents, the Comfort Keepers, which is partnering with the FoothillUnity Center. Her organization is part of a larger effort by her parentcompany, Sodexo, to fight the war against hunger.
“We want to highlight that seniors need to eat every day ofthe year, to raise awareness that there are plenty of people who are sufferingfrom undernourishment and malnutrition,” said Kato.
The effort will last until March in the following locallocations: Whole Foods Market in Pasadena; Pavilions in Arcadia and SouthPasadena; Bristol Farms in South Pasadena; and Villa Gardens in Pasadena. Therewill be large bins with which to collect food at those locations.
Comfort Keepers is a large organization with more than 600U.S. offices that help seniors receive care from the comfort of their home. Theorganization also has offices as far as the Philippines, Portugal andSingapore.
This past Saturday, representatives from both organizationsheld a booth inside the Whole Foods Market on Foothill Drive in Pasadena,adjacent a large bin they hope will be overflowing with canned goods. Alongwith Kato were Raina Martinez, outreach and volunteer services director for theCenter and Whole Foods marketing supervisor Heather Barnard.
The Center is working to help families and seniors avoidhunger, providing them with nutritious meals and foods. Last year the groupdistributed more than 3 million pounds of food to more than 3,100 unduplicatedvery low-income families in the San Gabriel Valley.
Comfort Keepers and Foothill Unity Center work together inspite of their different objectives. Comfort Keepers, serving seniors from SanGabriel to La Puente, provides care for the elderly, so they do not have toleave their homes. Foothill Unity Center provides food for families throughpick-up or delivery distribution.
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