Hundreds attend drive-thru food distributions across South Florida


OPA-LOCKA, FLA. (WSVN) - The start of another week amid the coronavirus pandemic is bringing hundreds to drive-thru food distributions across South Florida.

At New Birth Baptist Church in Opa-Locka, cars lined up for hours seeking a meal.

One woman picking up food said, “It’s a little rough, you know, with the hours being cut. The kids are home from school, so there’s more food that the children are eating now, so I just hope things get better.”

“We are our brother’s keeper, and that’s what the church is for,” `church volunteer Sabrina Adams said.

Over in Miami Gardens, Feeding South Florida held a drive-thru food distribution at Calder Casino.

Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert and volunteers handed out fresh produce and milk to help city residents.

“Whether it’s fruits, vegetables, milk, whatever it is, it’s something that people didn’t have,” said Gilbert. “Some people are really struggling. When you look at those unemployment numbers, what that tells you is there are people who are used to bringing in money who aren’t bringing in money.”

Farm Share, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz and City of Sweetwater Mayor Orlando Lopez partnered together to hold a distribution event at Dolphin Mall, located at 11401 NW 12th St., on Monday morning.

A long line of vehicles could be seen wrapped around the mall hours before the event started at 8 a.m.

Some drivers began waiting as early as 10 p.m. the night before to ensure they would receive the food they need.

“We came here last night at 10 o’clock and made the line,” said recipient Umberto Sanchez. “It’s been real rough.”

Nearly 1,200 bags of food were distributed to struggling families at the event.

“No money in the house,” said recipient Waldo. “I have children, and I haven’t been working for a month and a half. It’s very, very good help.”

“Unfortunately, the need prevails, and at this point, we’ll continue to do it as long as, again, Farm Share can get us the food,” said Diaz.

“I’m glad about what they’re doing because there’s a lot of people in need,” said Sanchez.

Fresh produce and hot meals were distributed on a first come, first served basis.

“We’re going to be able to give out 250 boxed meals that are prepared today, 490 boxes of empanadas,” said Lopez. “You know, we’re very happy that not only we can help, but you also have members of the community, business partners, that are coming out to help us as well.”

Food drives will be held at Dolphin Mall every Monday starting at 8 a.m. until further notice.

Food distributions will be held at New Birth Baptist Church every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Feeding South Florida also hosted another food distribution drive in Broward County.

Many people out of work stopped by Central Broward Regional Park in Lauderhill to pick up food for their families.

“We’re going to work together as a community and as you can see here, there’s a large, different group of people out here helping each other,” said Broward County Mayor Dale Holness. “That’s the greatness of America — that when we’re struggling, we come together.”

7News cameras captured cars rolling with their trunks open at food distribution site at the Tri-Rail station in Hollywood, at 2900 Sheridan St. Food distribution there will end at around 10 a.m.

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