FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) – As the world marks the one-year anniversary of the World Health Organization’s official declaration of the coronavirus pandemic, organizations across South Florida continue to feed a need for struggling families.
7News cameras captured volunteers at Mills Pond Park in Fort Lauderdale as they placed bags filled with much-needed food in car trunks, Thursday.
Some recipients had lined up before dawn in the rain and waited for hours.
“I’m just thankful for everybody, myself and everybody, to have something to eat on their table,” said a driver.
“This is what everybody needs, you know? A lot of help,” said another driver.
Volunteers at Mills Pond Park have been giving out food since the beginning of the pandemic. They serve between 800 and 850 families a day.
“The need hasn’t dropped down. It continues for the foreseeable future,” said Bruce Garrison, volunteer program manager for Oakland Park. “As long as that need continues, we’re intending on carrying on with the food distribution.”
Feeding South Florida and volunteers keep the operation going.
“There’s so many people hurting from the economics, the pandemic. It’s getting people down,” said food recipient Susan Foppiano. “I see it every day. People are struggling.”
It was a similar scene at Miramar Regional Park, where long lines of vehicles were seen as volunteers filled trunks with bags and boxes of food.
“I need food. It’s good; I need food,” said a woman in line.
“Put some food on the table, take care of the family, and this is our last resort, so I really appreciate that,” said a man in line.
Other drivers also feel blessed for this help.
“This is a big help, definitely. Having food is one of the basic necessities, so we are very thankful for this help,” said a man in line.
7News captured volunteers filling cars at other food distributions in Hialeah and Pompano Beach, underscoring the economic effect that the pandemic continues to have on local families.
Among those affected by the pandemic is Judy Bosanac.
“I guess there are still a lot of people that are out of jobs,” she said. “It’s hard to make ends meet, so they’re here, and luckily, they have places like this to help people.”
During these unprecedented times, organizations like Feeding South Florida and selfless volunteers have answered the call.
“It really has been very bad because of the COVID. Actually, it’s a year now,” said Pedro Fillao, a volunteer in Hialeah, “and what we’re doing right now is try to help a little bit.”
“It’s important to recognize that, while we see that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel with the pandemic, there’s a still a lot of need in our communities,” said Miami-Dade Commissioner Rene Garcia.
“It’s been a year, but hopefully it won’t be much longer, and we’ve all made it through it,” said Bosanac.
Residents in need are advised to contact their municipalities for food distribution programs. For more information about food distributions, click here.
For more information about Feeding South Florida, click here.
Anyone with questions and concerns about the coronavirus can call the Florida Department of Health’s 24-hour hotline at 1-866-779-6121.
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