6,000 families line up in cars for hours at San Antonio food bank amid fears of going hungry during pandemic
Aerial pictures showed thousands of cars lined up to enter San Antonio Food Bank that handed out over 1M pounds of food
Nearly six thousand families on April 10 lined up in their cars outside the San Antonio Food Bank to avoid going hungry amid the coronavirus lockdown in the United States. Aerial pictures taken outside the food bank showed thousands of cars lined up at Trader's Plaza in San Antonio, Texas, during a massive food distribution event as the charity handed out one million pounds of food on April 10.
Families in need of food reportedly waited four hours in their cars to get some vegetables, fresh fruit, and non-perishable goods that have become difficult to find in stores amid the ongoing panic buying, which has left shelves empty.
Similar scenes were seen in Florida and Pennsylvania in the last two weeks as thousands in the country have become unemployed amid the lockdown.
San Antonio Food Bank President and CEO Eric Cooper, while referring to the huge turnout, said, "The need is that great. We are moving through food so fast, this is our second big distribution this week, but there are hundreds of distributions that are going on all the time," the Daily Mail reported.
Reports state that the food distribution event in San Antonio, called the "Mega Giveaway", will be held twice a week for as long as self-isolation orders are in place in the region. The event, which was held the fourth time ever since the lockdown, marked its largest turnout on April 10.
The food bank's chief resources officer, Michael Guerra, said that at least 5,000 families signed up for the latest event, however, more than that number showed up on the day of the distribution. Guerra said that he expected each family to leave with enough food to last for the rest of the month.
Pete Delgado, who was among the thousands of people waiting in the line on Thursday, told FOX San Antonio that he and his wife are both disabled and that he arrived at Trader's Plaza in the middle of the night to ensure that his family does not go hungry. "I've been here for an easy 12 hours," he said. "And it's important for me and my wife because we have nothing to eat at home. I brought crackers and peanut butter as a snack to get me through the night."
"We didn't have any bread or lunch meat or anything to make some kind of lunch, a picnic for me to stay overnight, so I've just been munching on peanut butter and jelly and crackers," he added.
The novel coronavirus outbreak across the world has forced governments to shut down the hospitality industry like restaurants, hotels, airlines, cruise ships, school cafeterias. Reports state that the farmers who rely on these businesses buying their produce now have an excess of perishable food and nothing to do with it. Food banks, hence, are helping those in need get their much-needed vegetables and fruits through these farmers. Hundreds of motorists, last week, waited for hours to collect food from an Orlando food bank.
Reports state that the virus outbreak in the country has thrown at least 16.8 million Americans out of work in a mere three weeks. The latest Labor Department figures released stated that a record 6.6 million new claims of unemployment benefits were filed last week.