community relief food giveaway creates huge lines

Published: Mar. 25, 2020 at 6:19 PM EDT
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An entire semi-trailer full of food was given away in East Gainesville Wednesday morning, but not everyone who came left with some.

We'll show you how organizers say they're planning to make it better in the future.

They had enough food to feed between 800 to 1000 people, all in a drive-thru style where nobody had to get out of their cars which caused a problem in itself, traffic.

The drive-thru giveaway had all its food donated from Farm Share. Although it was scheduled to start at 9 am the line started forming much earlier.

Pastor Karl Anderson helped organize the community relief giveaway and is also the President for the ACCPA who said, "people were coming and started lining up as early as 4 am. Some even camped out because they really need help."

Daniel Mcclendon who waited gratefully received food said, "I am 65 and older and it's good to be able to receive some good nourishing food that will help keep me fed for the next 14 days."

Leighsha Johnson is Farm Share's distribution manager who said, "we're of course all gloved, face-masked, hand sanitizer at each hour we're trying to keep people safe so the drive-thru method helps people stay in their cars other than people walking up and exposing the virus."

The line stretched so far it unintentionally caused traffic delays.

Pastor Anderson said, "We shut down East Gainesville. We didn't mean to do it we're just trying to strike out hunger we're just trying to help some families. We didn't mean to shut down East Gainesville, but we did. However, that only shows us that there's a need."

While hundreds of families left with enough food to last them for two weeks, many others left with nothing because supplies ran out. Pastor Anderson says those families can try again soon.

"You know there were so many people there, or less fortunate than there was food that we could serve. That's why we want to do this weekly. All we ask is that if you came today and you were served for 2 weeks you let some other folks come next week and be served, you know let's help our neighbors out."

Pastor Anderson says this event showed just how essential the church is during these trying times and to eliminate the traffic problems will most likely move it to the Alachua County fairgrounds.


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