Hundreds Camp Out Overnight in Little Havana for Holiday Food Basket Vouchers

Camacol will be distributing about 3,000 vouchers Wednesday morning

By Gilma Avalos
|  Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012  |  Updated 7:39 AM EDT
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Camacol, the Latin Chamber of Commerce of the United States, will be distributing about 3,000 vouchers Wednesday morning so that families who need some help this holiday season can sit down to share a warm meal with their loved ones. Food baskets will be given to about 3,000 families with vouchers closer to Christmas. Zaida Fuentes said she's grateful for the help.

Camacol, the Latin Chamber of Commerce of the United States, will be distributing about 3,000 vouchers Wednesday morning so that families who need some help this holiday season can sit down to share a warm meal with their loved ones. Food baskets will be given to about 3,000 families with vouchers closer to Christmas. Zaida Fuentes said she's grateful for the help.

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Long lines during the holiday season have come to be associated with Black Friday shopping.

But on a block in Little Havana Tuesday, people were lining up to get a little help with a necessity – food.

Camacol, the Latin Chamber of Commerce of the United States, will be distributing about 3,000 vouchers Wednesday morning so that families who need some help this holiday season can sit down to share a warm meal with their loved ones. Food baskets will be given to about 3,000 families with vouchers closer to Christmas.

Zaida Fuentes said she's grateful for the help.

"Oh my God, I've got something to eat and in your own country people don't have nothing to eat – you know that makes you sad,” she said.

Fuentes, who invited a reporter to take a seat next to her, said the food basket would allow her to invite her next-door neighbor to dinner on Noche Buena – Christmas Eve.

"I share with her – she has four kids,” Fuentes said.

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Though the vouchers won't be handed out until Wednesday, the line wrapped around the corner Tuesday. Hundreds of people were camping out for the night.

Ivette Garcia says she's willing to do it for her son Daniel and three other little ones at home.

"Hopefully he could have a good Christmas with my other kids too,” she said.

She made the effort to get in line early after the family fell on some hard times. She said she was working recently but no longer has a job – “but, well, we’re here to lift ourselves back up.”

United by a common goal of making the holidays special for their families, many became fast friends, enjoying free concerts late into the night and even breaking bread together during dinnertime.

It was easy to see what the spirit of the season is really about.

"A good meal, and to be safe, be with the friends and the family and share,” Garcia said.

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