Hundreds of families in need receive free food items amid coronavirus pandemic

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – People lined up Wednesday for a food giveaway outside the Jack & Jill Children’s Center in Fort Lauderdale.

“I would say, so far we’re serving today close to about 800 families,” Alana Wortsman said.

The Jack & Jill Children’s Center partnered with Feeding South Florida and the Salvation Army to give away food for anyone in need.

The food is given away on a first come, first served basis.

“We had fresh produce, chicken, oranges, lettuce,” Wortsman said.

“Right now, I haven’t worked in two weeks -- both jobs kind of put on hiatus right now,” Curtis Becker, of Fort Lauderdale, told Local 10 News. “I could use everything. I’m right down the street (and) got three people I’m taking care of, besides myself.”

Wortsman said it’s been difficult for many families amid the coronavirus pandemic, many of which have children that rely on free or reduced meals at school.

“We’re trying to give enough rations to last for a week,” Terry Elliott, President of Ark of the City, said.

Elliott teamed up with Farm Share in Miami.

“Chicken, milk, canned goods, fruit, vegetables, cat food, dog food, because of course, we got pets, also,” John Delgado, assistant operations manager for Farm Share, said.

And every little bit helps.

“This is a need for everybody right now,” Becker said.

The bad news is once the food was gone, several people had to be turned away.

But organizers say they plan to hold more of these distributions in the future.

In fact, Farm Share expects to host its largest give-away to date on Thursday morning. That good giveaway begins at 10 a.m. at the Golden Glades Park and Ride’s east parking lot.

The event will be drive-through only to limit contact with one another.

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