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Lines start forming at 2 a.m. for final day of city of Miami’s grocery card giveaway

MIAMI, Fla. – In the city of Miami’s District 5, there were already people waiting in line at 2 a.m. at Little Haiti Soccer Park for a grocery card giveaway that was set to open at 9 a.m.

This was the last giveaway event before Christmas. On Wednesday, along with the Little Haiti location, cards were also being distributed in Roberto Clemente Park. The money was intended to assist residents affected by job loss and other income hardship due to the pandemic.

While many showed up early and waited for hours, some still left empty handed.

In order to receive the $250 Publix store gift card – money provided by the city through CARES Act funding – applicants needed to fill out a form and show proof of residence.

“Macho,” as he’s known around Little Haiti, said he was one of many people who showed up Tuesday and didn’t get a card because the city ran out.

“Yesterday I came here and there were too many people. So, I come back earlier to hopefully make it today,” he said.

The demand continued to increase as the holidays drew closer.

City of Miami Mayor Frances Suarez said he wished there was more financially the city could do for its residents.

‘”WE didn’t get adequate resources from Miami-Dade County months ago when we asked for it. We got $8.5 million, we were supposed to get $80 million based on our population,” said Suarez. “We see the evidence of need that is so stark, particularly as we get closer to the holidays.”

“Macho” was hoping he got a gift card Wednesday.

“I can buy something to eat for the holiday,” he said.

Local 10 learned that 150 gift cards were given out at the Little Haiti location Wednesday. Suarez said he is hoping that Congress provides more funding so that the city can continue to provide residents with this type of help.

(See Mayor’s message)

About the Author:

Parker Branton joined Local 10 News in January 2019 as a reporter. He was born and raised in Rome, Georgia, but now loves living on the sunny beaches of South Florida.