Miami-Dade fairgrounds has a new purpose feeding families in need

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – At this time last year, it was bustling with children and laughter and rides. Now, the site of the Miami-Dade County Youth Fair is a food distribution center for people struggling with the financial fallout of the coronavirus outbreak.

“Anybody who has doubts about the economic effect that the pandemic has had on the local community can look out on the line of cars,” said state Rep. Juan Fernandez Barquin.

Hundreds of cars lined up Friday morning for another food distribution at the fairgrounds — this one coordinated by Feeding South Florida, the Palmetto Bay Neighbors Alliance and area state representatives.

As unemployment numbers skyrocket, so does hunger, leaders say.

“We’ve been doing this for the last two weeks,” state Rep. Vance Aloupis said. “We’re hoping to do it every week moving forward as we move through this pandemic. But really [it’s] our team, our delegation coming together to make sure we’re serving as many people in South Florida as possible.”

Cereal, milk, fresh produce and a variety of frozen foods were loaded up for 700 families.

“When you’re dropping off that bag of goods in their car, they’re just thankful,” state Rep. Daniel Perez said. “When they see you drop that bag off, you see a smile from ear to ear. It’s a truly special experience, one that I’m very lucky to experience with them.”

ALSO SEE: Bring the Miami-Dade County Youth Fair to your home with virtual attractions

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