People lined up for hours for a box of food at Mills Pond Park. The coronavirus has left almost two million Floridians out of work and the state has moved at a snail’s pace processing claims. Meanwhile Feeding South Florida has seen a 600% increase in demand for assistance.
“No one should be starving in this country,” said Wilton Manors City Commission Gary Resnick. “The event provided much-needed food to persons in need. People lined up hours before the food drive was to begin and the line of vehicles double looped throughout the Park. We ran out of food and had to turn people away.”
A volunteer with the City of Oakland Park directs traffic at Mills Pond Park. Photo credit: Carina Mask.
Wilton Manors teamed up with its neighbors Oakland Park and Fort Lauderdale to partner with Feeding South Florida to host two drive-thru food distribution events in April at Mills Pond Park in Fort Lauderdale.
“The emotional impact of this event will always be with me – there were tears shed by volunteers and recipients; notes of thanks displayed in car windows and words of ‘thank you’ mouthed from drivers behind closed car windows,” said Wilton Manors City Commissioner Julie Carson. “I am touched by the many kindnesses of South Florida and grateful to be a part of the Wilton Manors community.”
Combined the two events have provided food to more than 2,100 cars. The boxes included fresh vegetables, meats, cheeses, and non-perishable items.
According to a spokesperson for Feeding South Florida as of April 17 the organization has seen a 600% increase in demand since the coronavirus pandemic began. Already they’ve distributed over nine million pounds of food to more than 160,000 households throughout South Florida. Since the crisis began they’ve added 130 food distributions on top of what they normally distribute each week.
“With the problems in providing stimulus checks and unemployment assistance to individuals who need these, it is unfortunate that Florida and the federal government cannot provide resources to feed families,” Resnick said.
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