TAMARAC. FLA. (WSVN) - With thousands still out of a job due to the pandemic, many have turned to food drives to make ends meet.
Feeding South Florida continues to do their part to help, as they hosted a drive-thru food distribution event, Tuesday.
The event took place at City Furniture, at 6701 Hiatus Road, in Tamarac. It began at 8:30 a.m. and ended shortly after 11 a.m.
“We know that there is a great need, and it is not slowing down for the foreseeable future,” said one volunteer.
Residents hoping to get food formed long lines in their cars.
When it’s their turn, they opened their trunks and volunteers placed food directly inside.
“It’s a big help,” said one recipient. “Money is tight right now.”
“It’s hard to be at home, and it’s hard to be without work and provide for our kids like we normally do,” said recipient Natalia Wynter. “We are running out of food, and we don’t have a lot of work, so I’m really glad that we have the opportunity.”
Wynter said she is grateful because she has young children to provide for.
“I can see a lot of people coming, and you know, I’m really appreciative,” she said.
The tough times have led to several grocery giveaways in both Miami-Dade and Broward counties.
“We’re trying to do as many food distributions as possible and really try to get to as many families,” said one volunteer.
“With the amount of cases we have, a lot of businesses shutting down, the need is only going to get worse and more important,” said organizer Chris Sloan. “That is why we’re seeing 500 to 700 people again lining up, and we’ve seen the lines grow from where they were a few months ago.”
Other people are volunteering in different ways. Robert and Kate Dorn were picking up food for their neighbors who could not get it themselves.
“Our whole neighborhood who wasn’t working for a long time,” said Kate.
At one Broward organization, Kids in Distress, they said they have seen the need for groceries for months.
“When we started this, about four months ago, the hope was to kind of reduce the need, but it seems like as the cases continue to increase, the need continues to increase,” said Joe Escarment of Family Central.
The food was distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Volunteers said they distributed groceries to approximately 600 cars, and they did not have to turn a single person away.
The event is supported by Caleb and Calder Sloan’s Awesome Foundation, City Furniture and WSVN.
“To be honest, it was very emotional driving up this morning and seeing so many cars,” said City Furniture president Andrew Koenig. “It brought tears to my eyes.”
“You know, as you see this dragging on and on and on and on, you know, it’s really wrenching,” said Sloan.
Many are already facing financial insecurities as a second wave of closures is set to start.
Feeding South Florida said they are doing everything they can to feed the rising need.
“Prior to the pandemic, we were serving about 706,000 food insecure individuals, and now, we’re serving about 1.3 million,” said Feeding South Florida executive vice president Sari Vatske.
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