Several hundred vehicles lined up around Catherine Strong Park in Delray Beach on Wednesday, April 1 as families were able to take home a bag of free food to help deal with the current food insecurity caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Spearheaded by Feeding South Florida, 600 families received food on a first-come, first-serve basis, which included milk, eggs, oranges, apples, cantaloupes, meat and lettuce.
“Normally we serve around 706,000 food-insecure folks throughout the quad-county (Feeding South Florida service area from Palm Beach to Monroe counties) and we are seeing a 600-percent increase due to COVID- 19,” Hillary Gale, spokeswoman for Feeding South Florida, said in a statement. “We are setting up municipality distributions and making it as efficient as possible working with local law enforcement and Parks and Recreation officials to make sure there is traffic flow and everyone is safe. Today (April 1), we will provide about 27,000 pounds to the city of Delray Beach.”
The distribution event lasted almost three hours and saw vehicles lining up two hours in advance on Southwest 16th Avenue to solidify their spot for the food giveaway. Cars were backed up as far as nine blocks, according to law enforcement officials hand directing traffic.
Along with Feeding South Florida, the cities of Delray Beach and Miramar, DeCoste Consulting, LLC in Delray Beach and KOP Mentoring Network helped orchestrate the event to support the community.
The Greater Delray Beach Chamber of Commerce also provided volunteers to load the bags in trunks as drivers pulled up.
“It’s so amazing to see all the volunteers who have come out to feed the community and we’re not talking about giving away a meal. We’re giving away huge bags of grocery that should be good for a week or two,” Delray Beach City Commissioner Ryan Boylston said in a statement. “I really think it’s important for these families.”
Another food distribution event is planned for 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 8 at Catherine Strong Park, 1500 SW Sixth St., in Delray Beach, and is one of many mobile drives planned to help families dealing with food insecurity during the coronavirus pandemic.