MIAMI (WSVN) – Hundreds of families lined up in their vehicles in Liberty City to have their trunks filled with food during a time of need, with a little help from Santa Claus.
Saturday’s event aimed to ease the burden so many families are experiencing, even just temporarily. At the end of the day, the grocery distribution helped 800 families.
Drivers pulled in and people walked up to One United Bank along Northwest 79th Street, near 32nd Avenue, and left with a week’s worth of groceries and cleaning supplies.
“Anything will help out while we’re in the times we’re in now, you know?” said recipient Preston Schofield.
Gifts were also ready to be handed out to children. along with a helping hand.
Organizers said they hoped to spread some Christmas cheer
“You can get it, but you have to be the first one there, before they run out,” said recipient Willette Wilson
The first people in line for the distribution showed up around 6 a.m., ahead of the 11 a.m. start time.
Not everyone came out for themselves.
“I’m out here for my mom. She’s 78,” said Wilson.
“My grandkids and my great-grandkids, that’s my family,” said recipient Willie Slim Jackson, “but I can make it. I’m not worried about it.”
Jackson said watching his family struggle through the coronavirus pandemic for months was not easy.
“I’ve never seen anything like this here, and I’m 80 years old,” he said.
Joshua’s Heart Foundation worked with Miami-Dade County to make the distribution happen.
“We’re actually doing our annual Christmas event, but with a little bit of a twist,” said Claudia McLean, executive director of Joshua’s Heart.
Normally, the nonprofit hosts a sit-down dinner for families in the community, a gift giveaway for children and groceries, but the pandemic forced them to switch gears.
“We feel sad that we’re not able to do it the way we would want to, but we’re still happy that we’re able to come together as a community and be able to still help the families,” said McLean.
Joshua’s Heart is planning to host additional drive-thru food distributions, from the Golden Glades area down to Goulds.
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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