Hundreds of residents gathered Tuesday for the final food gift card giveaway in the city of Miami, events during the month of December that officials helped those suffering during the coronavirus pandemic.
Tuesday’s event at West End Park was the fifth held by the city, where residents could register by showing they lived in the city and encountered a hardship in the pandemic to qualify for a card ranging from $100 to $350 in value.
Martha Beltran told NBC 6 she tried three times to get a giftcard, and Tuesday it happened.
“Oh, I’m very, very happy,” she said.
After waiting in line for hours, Beltran finally got her hands on a gift card to buy some food.
“It’s going to be great having this,” she said.
She’s tried a couple times before with no luck. This time, she showed up at the park really early to make sure she had a spot.
“When we got near to get the card it was already gone so it’s been a struggle,” Beltran recalled.
Kevin Martinez was also in line early. Knowing the money goes out on a first come, first serve basis, he said he showed up around 10:00 p.m. Monday.
“I’ve been unemployed for the past four or five months and this is going to help a lot of us,” Martinez said.
Hours later, he walked away smiling.
“I feeling good, I’m feeling good, I’m feeling grateful thanks to God that they have good commissioners and a good city mayor to do things for the people,” he said.
Only people living in Miami with proof of financial hardship during the pandemic received cards. Beltran has felt the struggle.
“Very hard,” she said. “Especially being cooped up in the house you can’t go out or anything like that, because you’re afraid of things, and you have to buy all these things and sometimes there’s not enough money.”
There’s a little extra money in her pocket now.
The gift cards range from $100 to $350 to use at grocery stores, including Publix, Winn-Dixie, Sedanos and Presidente Supermarket.
Martinez has five people to feed.
“I’m going to buy food right now for the family,” he said.
Tuesday’s event is an extension to the city’s original plan, because all the money the city received from the CARES Act has to be used by the end of the year.