ORLANDO, Fla. – Thousands of cars pulled into Calvary Orlando's parking lot on Easter Sunday morning to receive free meals donated by the church.
Traffic backed up for miles around the facility located on Clay Street.
Executive Pastor Manny Rosario said some people were already at the church when volunteers arrived at 5 a.m.
"There was already people lined up in both parking lots. a lot of them slept overnight," Rosario said.
The church partnered with the non-profit, Convoy of Hope, and purchased 100,000 meals to give to those who are struggling to make ends meet during the coronavirus pandemic. Each car received four bags of groceries.
Lead Pastor Ed Garvin said the food should be enough to get them through the week.
“It really does speak that there is a significant need in Orlando,” Garvin said.
Garvin said he thought they would see record-breaking crowds on Easter Sunday, but nothing like this.
"We fully expected that we would set an attendance record this Easter. We did not think it was going to be in this fashion, but we're honored to be part of making a difference in this community," Garvin said.
Church officials said they are helping 9,000 people and giving them peace of mind during this time of uncertainty.
"People coming off the lot, you see the tears, you see the gratefulness, you see the smiles. It just lets us know what we should be doing on this Easter Sunday," Rosario said.
Many of the families who received the food were overwhelmed by the blessing.
“It’s huge. I have three kids. I’m a single mom. This is amazing. Thank you guys, God bless. Happy Easter!” one woman who received the groceries said.