Ventura County comes together to help Thomas Fire victims

VENTURA, Calif. (KABC) -- Since the Thomas Fire erupted last Monday, the FOOD Share of Ventura County staff has worked non-stop.

Nearly every person in the community is affected by the blaze, either indirectly like the volunteers or directly like CEO Monica White.

"We were lucky. Our house was spared, but it made me just immediately come back in and say, 'I need to do some more work' because there are people who were not as fortunate," she said.

Food insecurity is already a problem during the holidays, and it's a concern that's been amplified by the wildfires. But the food bank felt some relief after a large shipment.

On Monday, Foster Farms donated more than 25,000 pounds of chicken to FOOD Share. It's one of the many entities helping fire victims in need.

Another company that provided comfort to evacuees was American Mattress Man in Ventura.

"The night the fire happened, I actually came to check on the status of my store. Everything was on fire. It looked like Armageddon," he said.

Owner Travis Escalante not only let evacuees sleep there for a few days, he is now selling his mattresses at little to no cost to those victims.

"You come in with your needs and we will take care of you no matter what your circumstance or situation," Escalante said.

Meathead Movers in Oxnard is also offering its storage facility as a temporary holding space. People affected by the Thomas Fire can use the space for free until February.

"A woman who called this morning, she knows of at least 11 families in Santa Paula who have lost homes. So she's coming in to get a few storage units to collect items for those folks," said Greg Northrop, move coordinator with the company.

The donations may not help fix everything, but it's a start for fire victims.

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