APOPKA, Fla. – Hundreds of families struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic lined up at Apopka High School on Saturday morning to get free food.
The start of a rainy day can’t keep families away, like Jonnie Garrison. She beamed with gratitude.
“A blessing, a blessing, a blessing. I would love to eat tonight’s meal and sit at the table with my neighbors and have a good meal, ”said Garrison.
Senator Randolph Bracy and Apopka High School PTSA collaborated with Farm Share to organize the event. They distributed hundreds of pounds of food.
Charlean Gatlin, one of the event organizers, said they are helping 500 families.
“Every time we go out we see these lines stretching as far as you can for individuals who are just trying to get help or trying to get food for their families to put on their tables,” said Gatlin.
These needs are increasing every day as families struggle to make ends meet almost a year after the pandemic.
Tre Wade, president of PTSA Apopka High School, said that the community was injured.
“We have so many parents who unfortunately because of COVID-19 have lost their jobs, their income, if not both incomes, at least one income and our community really needs it,” said Wade.
Some help is on the way. This week President Biden took executive action aimed at providing financial assistance. The order does not provide direct assistance to food banks, but rather direct assistance to families in need.
The Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida said 829,000 Central Florida families who use SNAP food stamps are expected to see increased benefits.
“The need is enormous and it is extraordinary to see our community injured as they are today,” said Gatlin.
Families, such as Nalinie Sewpersaud, said they were grateful for the food.
“Every little thing counts because you don’t work, no money, no groceries at home, so everything is worth now. Whatever you have is very valuable, ”said Sewpersaud.
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