Thousands of families in Texas, badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, have waited until 12 noon to put food on the table this holiday season – as the state struggles with rising infections.
The quiet area of Fair Park in Dallas has been home to the largest food in North Texas since the coronavirus spread to the state, Dallas Morning News reports.
The Thanksgiving event distributed food to about 8,500 families facing financial stress from the growing crisis – 17 times more people than the annual event normally serves.
Photos from the event show traffic backed by miles as people waited for hours in their cars for a package containing frozen turkey, 20kg of canned food and 1
Armando Castillo camped overnight to pick up the first spades and waited more than 10 hours.
“We really appreciate driving, because if that doesn’t happen, I guess we’ll go home and farm,” Castillo told Dallas Morning News.
“They also get food from their school – that’s why we’ve been able to do it lately,” he told the family’s children.
Two hundred volunteers worked the night to prepare for the event and load supplies to local churches in U-Hauls.
Trisha Cunningham, president and chief executive of the North Texas Food Bank, said the pandemic had uncovered a previously hidden food insecurity in North Texas.
Since mid-March, the food bank has distributed about 70.8 million pounds of food.
“So many people are needed right now and there is no stigma if you cross this line. You will be served with dignity and respect, “Cunningham told the newspaper.
The seven-day moving average of COVID-19 cases in Lone Star State is now 9,807, up from 3,932 a month ago, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Saturday.