Dramatic images from South Florida on Monday show a long line of cars backed up bumper to bumper on a roadway while motorists wait hours to get food from a food bank.
A drone captured aerial shots of vehicles waiting in line in Sunrise, Florida, just northwest of Fort Lauderdale, on Monday.
The motorists were waiting to receive food from Feeding South Florida, a food bank that relies on donations to feed the poor.
Feeding South Florida has seen a 600 per cent increase in the number of people asking for food as millions have been laid off due to the coronavirus outbreak.
An aerial view from a drone shows vehicles lineup to receive food provided by the food bank Feeding South Florida in Sunrise, Florida, on Monday
Feeding South Florida has seen a 600 per cent increase in the those asking for food aid as people, some of whom have lost jobs, need to make ends meet during the coronavirus pandemic
The groceries being given away included milk, chicken, apples, tomatoes, cantaloupe as well as Easter eggs
Feeding South Florida set up a drive-thru distribution site in order to conform to social distancing measures
Floridians lined up to receive produce ranging from milk, chicken, apples, tomatoes, cantaloupes, and eggs.
According to the Miami Herald, food banks like Feeding South Florida and others have a glut of fresh produce to give away.
That’s because the coronavirus outbreak has forced governments to shut down the hospitality industry, which includes restaurants, hotels, airlines, cruise ships, school cafeterias, and other businesses that serve food to customers.
That means farmers who rely on these businesses to buy their crops have an excess of perishable food and nothing to do with it.
Jose Martinez waits in line next to his car to receive groceries provided by the food bank Feeding South Florida
Angelica Pichardo, an official with the City of Sunrise, gives vouchers for groceries to a local motorist on Monday
A couple wait in their car as groceries from the food bank Feeding South Florida are put in their car by City of Sunrise employees on Monday
A city employee wearing a mask and gloves places groceries provided by the food bank into the vehicles of needy Floridians on Monday
Two city employees load groceries into the trunk of a car outside the food bank distribution site in Sunrise on Monday
Food that isn’t donated to food banks is simply thrown away or turned into mulch as there is no set mechanism to efficiently redistribute the excess produce to those in need.
‘The volume is at a level we’ve never seen before,’ said Stephen Shelley, president and CEO of Farm Share.
‘It is overwhelming the system.’
Farm Share distributes food every day through partnerships with food pantries, churches, school, and other nonprofits.
The organization has dozens of drop sites throughout Florida. It is running at maximum capacity using every one of its 25 refrigerated trucks and six warehouses to get food to those who need it.
Feeding South Florida said it welcomes the excess donations. It is operating at a pace to deliver 2.5 million meals a week to hungry Floridians.
‘We absolutely can handle it,’ said Sari Vatske, executive vice president of Feeding South Florida.
‘We can’t get it in and out fast enough.’
Vatske said that while the number of people asking for food has increased six-fold, the number of staff has been cut by three-fourths as people are adhering to stay-at-home orders.
Cars lining up outside food banks has become a more frequent sight in recent weeks as the United States has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic
City employees take the proper precautions while loading food into the trunk of needy Floridians on Monday
With the hospitality industry shut down, farmers have a glut of unused food, some of which has been collected by food banks across the country
City employees load groceries into the trunk of a motorist’s car in Sunrise, Florida, on Monday
One city employee loads several packages of what appears to be orange juice in Sunrise, Florida, on Monday
Easter eggs provided by the Feeding South Florida food bank are loaded into the trunk of a car in Sunrise on Monday
A city employee places some green vegetables into a bag of groceries in Sunrise, Florida, on Monday
Floridians who have been laid off from work are turning to food banks to provide meals as the coronavirus pandemic has effectively shut down much of the economy
A city employee wears gloves and a head covering while loading groceries into the trunk of a car in Sunrise on Monday
The image above shows vegetables provided by the Feeding South Florida food bank in Sunrise, Florida, on Monday
More people have come to rely on food banks as several industries have been shut down by the coronavirus pandemic
‘The math is not on our side,’ Vatske said.
More than 520,000 Floridians have applied for unemployment since March 15, compared to 326,000 in all of last year.
State statistics show that as of Monday, almost 13,000 people have been diagnosed with the disease and 235 have died since the outbreak began being tracked a month ago.
About 1,600 people are hospitalized in the state.
More than 6.6 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits at the end of last month – doubling a record high set just one week earlier – a sign that layoffs are accelerating in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak.
Combined with last week’s report that 3.3 million people sought unemployment aid three weeks ago, the US economy has now suffered nearly 10 million layoffs in just the past few weeks — far exceeding the figure for any corresponding period on record.
More than 520,000 Floridians have applied for unemployment since March 15, compared to 326,000 in all of last year
State statistics show that almost 13,000 people have been diagnosed with the disease and 235 have died since the outbreak began being tracked a month ago
About 1,600 people are hospitalized in the state, which was criticized for not shutting down businesses sooner to prevent the spread of coronavirus
More than 6.6 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits at the end of last month – doubling a record high set just one week earlier – a sign that layoffs are accelerating in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak
The stunning report issued last Thursday by the Labor Department showed that job cuts are mounting against the backdrop of economies in the United States and abroad that have almost certainly sunk into a severe recession as businesses have shut down across the world.
‘This kind of upending of the labor market in such a short time is unheard of,’ said Heidi Shierholz, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute, a progressive think tank.
The sight of long rows of cars waiting outside food banks has become more frequent since the pandemic has made its impact on the United States.
On Thursday, hundreds of motorists waited hours to collect food from a food bank in Orlando, a city that has seen a surge in unemployment after the town’s famous theme parks were forced to close its doors to the coronavirus outbreak.
Last week, hundreds of families flocked to the parking lot of Mount Olive Seventh-day Adventist Church in Orlando to collect food during the coronavirus pandemic
DailyMail.com witnessed a 50-vehicle line stretching a half mile waiting to collect food from the church
Motorists were forced to wait on a mile-long line (pictured) for a drive-up emergency food distribution set up in Pittsburgh Monday to meet social distancing requirements due to the coronavirus outbreak
Last Monday, motorists were forced to wait on a mile-long line for a drive-up emergency food distribution set up in Pittsburgh to meet social distancing requirements due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank in Duquesne, Pennsylvania, had only 1500 food boxes as local police set up portable toilets every 3/10ths of a mile to handle the large crowds who showed up.
The food bank, which is about 10 miles outside Pittsburgh and serves 11 counties in southwestern Pennsylvania, is considered an essential facility during containment efforts underway to slow the spread of the deadly flu-like virus, also known as COVID-19.
However, officials at the non-profit have had to cancel several food distributions and not have volunteers at its warehouse to meet mandates set up by health officials in response to the virus, WTAE reports.
The measures come as the food bank moves to protect its staff and the community from unnecessary exposure.