Drive-thru food distribution sites were set up across South Florida Saturday as the financial grip of the coronavirus pandemic hits home.
“Some food for a week more,” yelled one driver at the Magic City Casino drive-thru food distribution site.
“I’m not working now,” said the next driver, Maria Paulino, who recently stopped working as a ride share driver because of the pandemic.
Paulino says she wants to stay at home as much as she can, but she needs food, as did so many others at the Magic City site.
She says it took her about 6 hours to get through the line. And, despite arriving by 6 am, other drivers were there even earlier.
“At 1 o’clock in the morning, 1:30 in the morning there were people in line. Last week was the same thing,” said Miami Commissioner Manolo Reyes.
The City of Miami is supporting food distribution efforts with organizations like Helping Others and Giving Hope, along with Feeding South Florida.
Reyes acknowledged some drivers had to be turned away from Saturday’s food distribution because the maximum capacity was reached. He says that’s because he isn’t limiting food to just his district residents.
“At this moment we are trying to feed anyone that has a need,” said the Commissioner.
A similar food-distribution effort was coordinated at the Notre Dame D’ Haiti Catholic Church after at least two financial donations came from anonymous donors.
“We must live in the spirit of solidarity with people. We must bond together as human beings so that god is not just in the communion, not just in the church, but god is in the people next to you,” said Notre Dame D’Haiti Catholic Church Priest Reginald Jean-Mary.
Volunteers came to the church to cook, pack and deliver meals to people in the Little Haiti community who are in need.