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Residents continue to rely on drive-thru food pantries months after being furloughed

Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida continues to see record-breaking demand

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a massive need for food assistance in Central Florida.

Food drives are regularly giving away tens of thousands of pounds of food in a day, including one Wednesday in Orange City, where cars lined up for miles.

It was a similar scene in Osceola County, where Advance Senior Center and Second Harvest Food Bank hosted a drive-thru food pantry.

Since mid-March, Second Harvest Food Bank has provided 22 million meals and a new study shows they are seeing nearly 50% more people in Central Florida who are hungry.

Waiting doesn’t bother Millie Vasquez. She has waited in line for 50 different drive-thru events like the one Thursday.

“It’s horrible, you can’t make ends meet, you try to stretch a dollar if you have it,” she said.

Erika Spence and Second Harvest Food Bank helped give out around 500 meals at the event.

"These are historic, we have never seen anything like this even when we look back to the great recession," Spence said.

Spence does not expect the lines to shrink in the coming weeks, even as schools prepare to reopen and kids return to the cafeteria.

“I would like to think that will help reduce the line, (however) I think there’s a lot of factors in play and we can’t really say schools is the silver bullet,” she said.

To donate to Second Harvest Food Bank, click here.


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