Pine Hills food giveaway offers to those still feeling impacts of pandemic

Food distributed to more than 1,000 families

Organization extends a helping hand as Central FL recovers from pandemic

PINE HILLS, Fla. – As mask mandates relaxed in some places across Central Florida and the economy appears to be slowly opening back up, News 6 found families Saturday still struggling from the coronavirus pandemic.

Several community organizations and volunteers of all ages spent their Saturday morning giving back and helping families in need. They hosted a drive-thru food giveaway outside of the Experience Christian Center in Pine Hills where they distributed fresh food and produce to more than 1,000 families.

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76-year-old Charles Allen, of Orlando, was among the first in line at the food giveaway. He told News 6 the pandemic has been tough for his family. He said many of his loved ones in fact have been relying in part on his fixed income to survive.

“A lot of them are not working now,” said Charles Allen. “The virus has really hurt so many people in so many ways.”

69-year-old Helen Robinson, of Orlando, said she’s also on a fixed income, but even through a pandemic, she’s been finding ways to get results and help others.

“That gives me chance to get stuff for little kids when they get out of school, snacks to eat on and everything,” said Robinson.

She too says the pandemic has been rough.

Pastor Derrick McRae from the Experience Christian Center helped organize Saturday’s giveaway and knows the need.

“We recognize the need for feeding the community. So many people are still impacted by the pandemic, and we can never do too much,” said Pastor McRae. “Even as things are shifting, we see that there is still a tremendous need out here in our community.”

The giveaway was hosted also in part by Farm Share, 4 Roots Feed the Need, and the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition.

About the Author:

Jerry Askin is an Atlanta native who came to News 6 in March 2018 with an extensive background in breaking news.