Free meals provided for 2,000 families during coronavirus pandemic

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Pallets of food are offloaded — everything from frozen chicken to potatoes, fruits, and bottles of water.

There’s enough at this Farm Share drive-thru distribution site to feed 2,000 South Florida families that have taken a financial hit due to the coronavirus pandemic.

And there has been a steady stream of people waiting in line for hours at the Golden Glades Park & Ride to pick up goods.

“Right now all schools (are) closed. I can’t get a job ... so I have to feed my family,” said Andre Monestime, a school bus driver. "That’s the reason this is important to me.”

Organizers have devised a plan to keep minimal contact among those working and the people inside their cars.

“We feel like this is far safer than going to your public grocery store, because we aren’t going to touch anyone,” state Rep. Barbara Watson said. "Nor will they touch anyone. They will simply drive thru, pop their truck and we will load the food in the back of their vehicles.”

Watson is one of the organizers, working in conjunction with state Sens. Oscar Braynon and Jason Pizzo and Rep. Dotie Joseph, and Miami-Dade commissioner Jean Monestime, to make sure their constituents are taken care for during these tough times.

“Many people are no longer working,” Watson said. “They do not have the opportunity to go to the grocery stores. The shelves in some cases are empty. We are giving them food so they can be able to sustain themselves for a while.”

Watson says more distribution sites will likely be popping up in the near future. Thursday’s event was supposed to last until 1 p.m., but with such a large turnout, organizers planned to stay open for a least a few hours longer.

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