OPA-LOCKA, FLA. (WSVN) - As the coronavirus pandemic continues, food distribution sites in Miami and Fort Lauderdale are trying to help as many people as they can.
Each vehicle at a drive-thru food distribution site in Fort Lauderdale on Monday was given a 50-pound box or bag filled with food items like fruits, vegetables, canned food and bread.
“We’re here feeding the masses because we know that the need is large here in Broward County,” Pantry of Broward CEO Maureen Luna said. “We do this all the time at the Pantry of Broward. We feed seniors, over 500 of them a month. Today alone, we will feed an additional 750 people.”
The items inside the bags and boxes are said to be enough to make 46 meals. Approximately 10,000 pounds of food will be distributed to those who desperately need the help.
There are about 500 seniors who normally rely on the groceries provided by the Pantry of Broward, but now with the COVID-19 outbreak, the organization plans on feeding an additional 750 families.
Shantya Underwood said her family desperately needs help from the community.
“A lot of people are in need,” she said. “I have lots of family members who has lost their jobs. My daughter, my sister, my friends, they’re all not working. We cannot survive 30 days, but all we have to do is keep praying and pray because God is real.”
The food distribution was scheduled to end at 3 p.m., but organizers expect they will run out of food beforehand.
William Lemon, like many others who waited in line, has children and needs help.
“I’m very much worried,” he said. “I’m laid off. I ain’t got no work. I can’t go to work today. I ain’t got no check coming Friday. What am I going to do? Well, I do appreciate it, man, because every little bit helps. God is good every day, man.”
Earlier on Monday, the Overtown Youth Center and DeliverLean teamed up to distribute free meals at Gibson Park.
NBA legend Alonzo Mourning, the center’s founder, attended the event to help distribute meals to those in need.
He said his organization needs help and pleaded to South Florida residents asking if there was any way they can partner with his youth organization to provide food to those in need.
“Because this pandemic is going to be pretty lengthy, and as the pandemic progresses, and as time progresses — we’re two weeks in now — we know that people are going to run out of surplus, whether it be money, food. People are going to run out,” he said.
Mourning added that he wants to expand the distribution to other communities, such as Little Haiti, Little Havana and Opa-Locka, but he said the organization needs help.
“So I’m pleading with the South Florida community if you’re able to help out, contribute in any type of way, please go to overtownyouth.org, so you can partner with us,” Mourning said. “There is a tremendous need out there, and it’s going to get worse. We haven’t seen the worst of it yet, and unfortunately, we have to deal with this, but we will get through this, but we’ll get through it together.”
The distribution will take place at Gibson Park, at 401 NW 12 St., every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning.
Long lines for food could also be seen at the Chabad Jewish Center on Las Olas Boulevard, where around 2,000 meals were distributed on Monday.
The center teamed up with Feeding South Florida to provide all of the food.
Meanwhile at Pho 79 in Coral Springs, the restaurant, off Sample Road, is offering free meals. People must get a meal ticket from 10 a.m. to noon, and then, they can pick up the free meal from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
The restaurant said they will continue the free meal program indefinitely as long as the community needs it.
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